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China: Around The Nation

Chinese toddler who plunged 15 metres into well pulled to safety after dramatic 9-hour rescue

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 April, 2017, 12:22pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 April, 2017, 12:24pm

A two-year-old boy was brought to safety on Tuesday morning nine hours after he plunged 15 metres into a dry well in eastern China, Chinese media reported.

Jia Zhihao had been playing near his home in Shandong province’s Fangdong village in the city of Zibo on Monday evening when he fell into the well, news portal Thepaper.cn reported.

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The mouth of the 15-metre-deep well had been covered only by some grass, the report said.

Fortunately, the boy’s parents quickly discovered him in the well and immediately called for help from police and firefighters.

Medical staff transmitted oxygen and dropped food down to the well for the boy as a team of rescuers worked to pull him up to safety, the report said.

Because the well was very narrow – with a diameter of just 30cm – rescue workers were unable to descend into it to bring the boy to ground, state media Xinhua reported.

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But the narrow width of the well was also the reason the boy did not sustain major injuries from his fall, according to the report.

Dozens of excavators and bulldozers were used to dig a big hole near the mouth of the well to reach him.

It was only nine hours later, around 3am, that the rescue team managed to pull the toddler to safety with the help of an underwater camera and a “shaft lifter” specially designed for such situations.

The child, who emerged conscious, was taken to the hospital immediately and remains under observation.

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Last November, a six-year-old boy died after falling down an 80-metre-deep dry well in Hebei province’s Zhongmengchan village near the city of Baoding.

Rescue operations in attempts to save the child lasted for four days and attracted attention nationwide.