The two-year-old, who was playing near his home in Trichy district, had fallen into the open borewell on Friday evening.

After 4-day rescue battle dead body of baby Sujith retrieved from borewell
news Rescue Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - 06:37

In tragic news for his family and an entire state that awaited his rescue with bated breath, Tamil Nadu’s Sujith Wilson was retrieved dead from the borewell he fell into, on Tuesday. Confirming fears that the boy had been dead for sometime, Principal Secretary J Radhakrishnan told the media that the body had started decomposing. 

Speaking to media persons at the site, the senior bureaucrat said, "Around 9: 30 pm, we got a report that a decomposed smell was emanating from the original borewell. We sent a medical team inside. NDRF, SDRF and fire service crack teams went in. They told us that unfortunately the body had highly decomposed. Final observations are ongoing. We have stopped digging."

The two-year-old, who had been playing near his home in Nadukattupatti village, Trichy district, slipped and fell into the exposed borewell on Friday. While fire and rescue personnel rushed to the spot, attempts to rescue the child over four days grew increasingly complex as he slipped further down the muddy well. Over a dozen rescue teams including the NDRF, SDRF and private experts were pressed into service. With rock sediments continuing to erode, the boy, who was initially lodged at 26-feet, gradually fell deeper to 85-feet. 

The body was retrieved in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. Around 4.30 am, it was taken to the government hospital. 

Sujith's cries were last heard on Saturday morning around 5:30 am and for the team that worked to rescue him, it had been a race against time. 

On Friday evening, hours after the child was trapped, a distraught Kala Mary, Sujith's mother, was asked to give her whimpering son some confidence. Heart-rending visuals from Nadukattupatti showed the mother looking into the pit and saying, “Don't cry, please don't cry for a little while. I will take you out, Amma will take you out. I'm right here on top.” Sujith, who was then lodged at 26-feet, responded to his mother’s pleas with a soft ‘mmm’. Putting aside her fear, the mother bravely stitched a white cloth bag that rescuers said could help lift her son. A bleary-eyed Britto Arockiaraj, Sujith's father, was relentlessly assisting the rescue personnel around the area and receiving politicians of several parties who came to meet the family. The farmer, who built the borewell in his corn field over seven years ago, was seen blaming himself for his son's accident.

The agonising news of the child's death also devastates an entire state that has been glued to its television screens over the Deepavali weekend. Prayers for the child's speedy rescue were held across churches, mosques and temples in Trichy and other districts. Thousands took to social media to amp up pressure on the state government, declaring that they would not be celebrating the festive season until Sujith is safely rescued. Actors, cricketers and other celebrities used the hashtag 'PrayforSujith' on Twitter, expressing their sadness and frustration at the child’s trauma. 

Initial efforts to dig a parallel hole on Saturday to rescue Sujith was brought to a halt over rocky terrain. Four separate robotic devices brought in by expert groups led by Manikandan from Madurai, Daniel from Namakkal, Sridhar from Coimbatore, and Venkatesh from Chennai also failed to yield results, with the child being firmly lodged in the borewell. According to government officials present at the site, the machines allowed for ropes to be lowered and tightened around the wrist of the child to pull him out. However, that could not succeed due to wet mud and the inability of the child to grasp the ropes. 

A parallel hole was finally drilled on Sunday using an ONGC rig and an L&T rig that later replaced the former. Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam visited the family late on Sunday and informed the media that drilling was expected to take until early on Monday morning.

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