Cheers of joy in the air as Karnataka toddler is rescued from open borewell

This is only the second successful rescue operation in the last nine such incidents reported in Karnataka since 2000.

ByMahesh M Goudar

Published Apr 04, 2024 | 2:31 PM Updated Apr 04, 2024 | 4:30 PM

The child's rescue. (Screenshot)

A joint rescue team on Thursday afternoon, 4 April, successfully rescued 14-month-old Satwik Mujagonda. The toddler was stuck at a depth of 20-foot in an open borewell in Lachayan village, Indi taluk in Vijayapura district of Karnataka.

The 18-hour rescue operation by a team of NDRF, SDRF and local authorities ended on Thursday afternoon. The boy was rushed to a hospital.

The toddler accidentally fell into a 256-foot open borewell while playing on his family’s farm at Lachayan village in Indi taluk on Wednesday.

The toddler was found stranded at a depth of some 17 feet to 20 feet in the open borewell.

This is only the second successful rescue operation in the last nine such incidents reported in Karnataka since 2000.

On Thursday, 4 April, authorities said the operation had concluded successfully. Cheers of joy were raised by the crowd as rescue personnel pulled the toddler out of the tunnel they had dug.

After the rescue, the child was reunited with his mother. The mother was in one of the three ambulances at the scene so that the child could be rushed to the nearest hospital once he was picked up from the well.

The rescue

The state had been waiting with bated breath and prayers since last evening. Earthmovers frantically dug a tunnel next to the borewell throughout the night to reach the trapped boy.

Initial reports suggested he was two years old, but rescue personnel have confirmed his age as 14 months.

Authorities planned to dig a five-foot tunnel to reach the child after freshly excavating a pit parallel to the spot where he had been trapped.

The child, identified as Satwik Mujagonda, fell and was stuck at a depth of 20 feet inside an open borewell while playing at Lachayan village around 6 pm on Wednesday, 3 April. The rescue operations commenced soon after the authorities were alerted of the incident.

The State Disaster Response Force, fire and emergency service personnel, police, and tube-well drilling experts at the scene remained optimistic about rescuing the boy.

Authorities had arranged non-stop oxygen supply for the child.

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Karnataka leaders react

While congratulating the rescue personnel for saving the life of 14-month-old toddler, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah appealed to society to be more cautious from such waterless and open borewells.

In his post on X, Siddaramaiah said, “The rescue operation of a 2-year-old boy Sathwik, who accidentally fell into a borewell in Lachayan village of Indi taluka of Vijayapura district, has been successful.”

“The efficiency of the staff and public who worked round the clock for the protection of the child is commendable. I am delighted to witness that wishes of the child’s family and millions of people of the country have come true.”

“The little boy has conquered the death and is back in the arms of parents. If the waterless or dry borewells are not closed then someone’s life will be at danger. Even though such incidents are repeated time to time, but it is sad that people are not aware and negligent,” the Chief Minister appealed everyone to be cautious.

Vijayapura District Minister MB Patil said, “All our prayers have come true. A 14-month-old child, who fell into a borewell, is able to see the outside world. Heartfelt congratulations to our proud SDRF, police team, district administration and all those who worked to save the child…”

“Please don’t neglect the open borewells that are not functioning. Ensure proper fencing and such incidents be avoided in future,” appealed Patil.

(Edited by VVP Sharma)