Efforts continue to save Sujith, OPS visits spot

More than two days after he fell into a borewell, efforts continue to  reach and rescue two-year-old Sujith Wilson. The work is making slow progress due to the rocky terrain.

Members of the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) along with experts including geologists of Neyveli Lignite Corporation and the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation had decided to drill a passage, adjacent to the one where Wilson has been stuck for over 48 hours, in an attempt to rescue him.

“A parallel borewell is being dug… efforts are on… we have a technical team at the spot comprising officials from L&T, ONGC, Neyveli Lignite Corporation,”J Radhakrishnan, Principal Secretary, Revenue Administration, Disaster Management and Mitigation, said.

“The Chief Minister has issued orders to ensure that rescue efforts be carried out without any hindrance,” he said and added that nearly 300 people were involved. Health Minister C Vijayabaskar is staying at the site ever since the mishap, with Ministers Vellamandi Natarajan and Valarmathi accompanying him. Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam visited the site and supervised rescue measures.

According to reports, a team from Chennai’s Anna University confirmed through a specialised thermal camera on Saturday night that the boy was still breathing.

Initial efforts to dig a parallel hole to rescue Sujith was brought to a halt over rocky terrain. Four separate robotic devices brought in by expert groups led by Mandikandan 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.

Surjith’s condition has touched an emotional chord among the people in Tamil Nadu with special prayers are being conducted in temples, mosques, and churches across the state for his safety. Rescuers are using a boring machine to dig a parallel well to reach the child who is believed to be a depth of about 90 feet. Rocks have slowed down the drilling operations for now.

Oxygen is being continuously supplied to the boy. According to officials, six teams were involved in the rescue operations. Authorities said they were unable to assess the boy’s condition because of the layers of wet mud around him.