Despite a rescue operation that lasted for more than two days, officials in Telangana failed to rescue 18-month-old Chinnari, who had fallen into a deep borewell pit on Thursday.
Chinnari, the daughter of a migrant labourer Yadaiah, fell into an abandoned borewell in Ekkareddyguda village in the state's Ranga Reddy district, when she was playing with her sister.
Confirming the death, Ranga Reddy district collector M Raghunandan Rao termed it an unfortunate incident.
"We made all efforts to rescue her. However, we suspect that she slipped further into the pit, and the water and mud in the hole may have resulted in her death. We are making efforts to retrieve the body now," he told local media, early on Sunday morning.
According to officials at the spot, after failing to retrieve the body directly, they pumped water and pressure into a parallel pit, and pushed out the clothes and parts of Chinnari's body.
It was later confirmed that all parts of the baby's body were out of the pit.
The body was loaded onto an ambulance along with the baby's family, and taken to a hospital for post-morterm.
On Saturday, experts from Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) were roped in for rescue operations, along with the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).
Despite lowering an advanced camera to track the baby's location, efforts were futile as water hindered the vision after 230 feet.
"We are searching for the girl both at 230 feet and 40-50 feet. We will leave no stone unturned to save her. This is being done with the hope of being able to reach the baby stuck inside," the Collector said on Saturday night.
The body was finally flushed out from 280 feet, an NDRF official said.
On Thursday night, the Cyberabad police and the NDRF had rushed to the spot soon after the incident happened. Despite working all night, trying to extract the baby from the pit, and digging a parallel pit, they did not succeed.
Locals who gathered at the spot soon after the incident, could hear the screams and cries of the girl, which gave them hope that the baby was still alive.
Oxygen was also being pumped into the borewell for a whole day, to ensure that she breathed easily.
However, the Collector has since confirmed that the baby may have died by the next morning, by around 8am. Despite this, he said that they did not lose hope and continued rescue operations.
Meanwhile, the Cyberabad police registered a case against one T. Malla Reddy under Section 336 of the IPC, for endangering life or personal safety of others.
This came after reports that the borewell was an illegal one and not accounted for by the state government's Revenue Department.
Deccan Chronicle reported that the land was owned by Malla Reddyâ€™s father, but he was presently in charge of it.
The DC report adds that Reddy opened the cover of the borewell and lowered a motor around 10 days ago, to check the availability of water in the pit. However, he did not close it later.
He is presently absconding.