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Punjab: 2-year-old Fatehveer dies after 109-hour rescue effort, Opposition blames state government’s delay

A two-year-old boy who had fallen into an unused borewell in a field at Bhagwanpura village in Punjab’s Sangrur district five days ago, was rescued at 5:12am today morning, has been declared dead.

Stuck in an over 120-foot deep borewell for 109 hours, a two-year-old toddler was declared dead after being rescued Tuesday morning in Sangrur district. With his hands clamped with a rope, Fatehveer Singh was brought out after the operation to rescue him through a parallel tunnel dug up closeby failed.A team of doctors was stationed at the incident site to provide medical assistance to Singh as soon as he was pulled out. An ambulance equipped with a ventilator was also stationed there. The kid was rushed to Chandigarh but he was declared brought dead by the doctors. .

Fatehveer Singh was rescued at 5:12 am on Tuesday by the NDRF and local volunteers. He was rushed to PGIMER in Chandigarh in an ambulance amid police security. PGIMER official, Dr Uttam Thakur said that postmortem of the body carried out and then the body handed over to the family.The state had a chopper on standby near the site, but the child was taken to a hospital about 140 km from the village by road as chopper couldn’t fly before 5:40 am said by Deputy Commissioner Sangrur Ghanshyam Thori.

As per information given by PGI Chandigarh, Fatehveer Singh was brought to pediatric emergency ward, Advanced Pediatric Centre, PGIMER at 7.24 AM with alleged history of fall into a borewell on 6.6.2019 in the evening. On admission, he had  no pulse, no respiration and no cardiac activity, hence the child was declared brought dead. The  Police moved a request for the postmortem examination and submitted inquest papers in the Department of Forensic Medicine, PGI. A panel of doctors Dr Y S Bansal Prof & Head and Dr Senthil Kumar Assistant Prof  conducted  the autopsy and the examination was concluded at 11.15 AM. Postmortem  findings are suggestive of death occurred few days back. The detailed postmortem  report is being prepared and would be handed over to the Investigating Officer. The mortal remains of the child were handed over to the police and the relatives.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team, which conducted the rescue operation, had initially thought of using a rope to pull Fatehveer out but went against it suspecting injuries to the child. However, on June 6, a rope was then suspended in the borewell which had even gripped the hands of the child, but he could not be pulled out. Deputy Commissioner Sangrur Ghanshyam Thori said, “This method was followed on day one, but the team could not succeed and it was tried almost every day, but as the child couldn’t be retrieved via clamping, they were following another method of creating a parallel borewell and reaching the borewell via a tunnel.”

“We tried to clamp the child soon after the accident. The first hand was clamped in 2.5 hours while second hand in 10 hours after the accident. However, we never wanted to use force to pull him up and hence NDRF started digging a parallel tunnel. In all, clamping was tried 116 times. We tried it on Tuesday morning as well and it worked and the child was pulled out,” said Thori.