Efforts to rescue a six-year-old boy who fell into an abandoned borewell in the north Karnataka district of Bagalkot continued through Monday with the boy still stuck at a depth of some 160 feet in the 350 feet deep borewell in the Sulikere village.
Even as rescue operations continued to extricate six-year-old Thimmanna Hatti from the borewell the police registered a criminal case against the Sulikere Gram Panchayat for their negligence in abandoning the borewell without covering the opening of the well. Thimmanna Hatti fell into the borewell on Sunday afternoon around 2 pm when he was going to his farm with his brother.
Though efforts to rescue him continued through Sunday night and much of Monday Thimmanna Hatti remained stuck in the borewell as of 8 PM on Monday. Experts from the Hutti Gold Mines and the National Disaster and Rescue Force (NDRF) from Bangalore, Pune and Sangli are camped at the disaster site in a bid to rescue the child. Rescuers have been continually pumping oxygen into the well to prevent the child from dying due to the lack of air supply.
A robot that was summoned to help in the rescue was deployed by a team headed by Manjegowda from Mandya district. The robot managed to get to a depth of 140 feet before being cramped for space. The Assistant Commissioner of Bagalkot sub-division Shankar Vankyal said that a small portion of the soil in the borewell fell on the child during the robot’s attempts to rescue him.
This had however not caused any problems, he said. One of the rescue teams has been digging a hole parallel to the borewell to reach the kid. The Inspector General of Police (northern range) Bhaskar Rao said that Thimanna Katti was first stuck at a depth of around 15 feet before slipping down to the 160 feet level. “Only the child’s hands are visible at this depth. Rescue operations will continue till we get the boy,” Rao said.
The IGP said that the police for the first time had registered a criminal case in connection with the borewell accident. “We have decided to register a criminal case against the concerned Gram Panchayath officials and the borewell company. The Kerur police have registered a case against the president, vice-president and members of the GP and it’s assistant executive engineer, the Panchayath Development Officer (PDO) and the borewell company,” Rao said.