80 rescuers trying to save trapped boy

By Cao Siqi Source:Global Times Published: 2016/11/9 0:18:39 Last Updated: 2016/11/9 0:18:40

Netizens pray for 5-year-old child who fell down 40-meter-deep well


Aerial view of the rescue scene where a 5-year-old is trapped inside a 40-meter-deep  abandoned well in Baoding, North China's Hebei Province on Tuesday. Photo: IC

Aerial view of the rescue scene where a 5-year-old is trapped inside a 40-meter-deep abandoned well in Baoding, North China's Hebei Province on Tuesday. Photo: IC


Chinese netizens were holding their breath on Tuesday for the safety of a 5-year-old child who was trapped inside a 40-meter-deep dry well for more than 61 hours in Baoding, North China's Hebei Province.

More than 80 rescuers have rushed to save Congcong in Zhongmengchang village, Lixian county after he accidently fell into the 30-centimeter-wide well on Sunday noon when the boy was accompanying his father to the farmland, news site thepaper.cn reported.

Firefighters were quoted by thepaper.cn as saying that an excavation may lead to a collapse of the well since the surrounding soil is soft, which may endanger the boy's safety. Therefore, rescuers erected a three-dimensional steel drum around the well and dug out the soil around the drum for 1-meter every two hours. A total of 20 diggers went down the mouth of the well to search for the boy while another 10 rescuers prepared for the work as of 5 pm on Tuesday.

Li Guangzhen, the head of a nearby village, told thepaper.cn that he sent three excavators and 10 drivers to the scene after seeing Congcong's father's post on WeChat.

Moreover, dozens of local police, firefighters, villagers and Blue Sky Rescue Team, one of China's largest civilian rescue teams, also participated in the rescue, bringing bulldozers, food, clothes and other relief supplies, media reported.

A staffer from the publicity department of the Lixian county told the Chongqing Morning Post that a "camera placed at the bottom of the well only caught the pictures of the boy's toy."

The father said that the dry well was dug out years ago for irrigation. The boy's grandfather said that he had noticed the well lid was missing 20 days ago, but took no action because the well's mouth was so small, the Beijing News reported.

Li, the village head, told thepaper.cn that similar wells are often seen in nearby villages and villagers usually landfill the dry ones or put lids on them.

But Congcong's grandfather said that there was no landfill, neither a warning sign near this abandoned well.

The incident touched Net users, with many praying for the boy's safety on Sina Weibo. Some netizens called on authorities to pay more attention to the missing lids on dry wells since similar tragedies have occurred frequently in recent years.

"The rescue reflects the government's respect for life. However, it also reminded the authorities to impose more responsibility on guardians," Li Danyang, a research fellow at the School of Public Administration of Guangzhou-based Jinan University, told the Global Times.

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