23 May 2024

Rescuers have successfully pulled a 19-month-old Myanmar girl from a 15-metre deep groundwater hole, where she had been trapped for over 17 hours.

Cheers of joy erupted when the child, helped by rescuers, emerged from the hole, was put on a stretcher and rushed to Phop Phra District Hospital for assessment and treatment.

Rescue team reached the girl at about 8am this morning (Tuesday), but they could not immediately pull her out because she appeared to have suffered leg injuries in the fall.

The child accidentally fell into the groundwater well as she was playing on a mound of soil dug out of the hole.

The girl’s parents told the media that they took their child to work with them on a tapioca farm, in Village 13 of Khiri Rat sub-district in Tak province, adding that they placed her under a tree, next to the mound of earth.

They said they did not see her when they took a break from harvesting tapioca and started searching for her. They heard cries emanating from the hole and immediately rushed to find help.

Kittisak Boonchan, chief of the rescue unit in Tha Sai Luat sub-district, said that they used a backhoe to dig a pit about 10 metres deep next to the groundwater well and then dug further by hand, to gain access to the trapped girl.

He explained that the backhoe could not be used to dig deeper for fears that the wall of the hole may cave in and endanger the child.

Rescue workers lowered a video camera into the well and found the child trapped at a depth of about 15 metres but still alive.

Oxygen was pumped into the hole all the time, to enable the child to breathe.