- An Indian toddler who was trapped in a disused well died on Tuesday after rescuers took more than four days to reach him.
- Two-year-old Fatehveer Singh slipped into the well when he was playing by the fields near his house in northern Punjab state.
- The news of his death sparked protests among villagers who blamed authorities for delays in the rescue mission.
- Uncovered wells are a common problem in northern India, where children in similar situations have had to be rescued before.
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A Indian two-year-old who was trapped in a well died on Tuesday after rescuers took more than four days to get to him, Agence France Press (AFP) reported.
Fatehveer Singh was flown to a hospital, but doctors declared him dead on arrival, according to The Associated Press.
The toddler fell into his family’s disused well on Thursday while playing in fields near his house in the northern state of Punjab, the news agency reported.
The operation sparked national attention: TV news showed dozens of rescue workers and volunteers trying to pull him out of the 33 meter (110 feet) deep well, AFP reported.
Efforts to save Singh were especially complicated because the well has not been used in 28 years, and is only 23 centimetres (nine inches) wide, AFP said.
Authorities told AFP they had to dig another hole parallel to the well, and connect them with a big pipe. They also inserted an oxygen tube.
News of the boy’s death sparked protests among villagers who blamed authorities for delays in the rescue operation, AFP reported. They chanted anti-government protests as they gathered at the rescue site and also blocked a main road.
A man who lives nearby, Kultar Singh, told local media that the “lack of required technical assistance” set back the operation, according to AFP.
The failed rescue mission shed light on common problem in northern India: uncovered wells.
Capt. Amarinder Singh, the Chief Minister of Punjab state, expressed his condolences and tweeted: “Have sought reports from all DCs [deputy commissioners] regarding any open bore well so that such terrible accidents can be prevented in the future.”
Very sad to hear about the tragic death of young Fatehveer. I pray that Waheguru grants his family the strength to bear this huge loss. Have sought reports from all DCs regarding any open bore well so that such terrible accidents can be prevented in the future.
— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) June 11, 2019
The well was covered with a sandbag, local lawmaker Vijay Inder Singla told AFP. But it appears Singh stepped on it, and slipped into the hole,
Earlier this year, a one-and-a-half-year-old in the northern state of Haryana was rescued after being stuck in a well for two days.
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