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Thailand: Rescuers save baby trapped down a well

February 7, 2023

Rescuers had been pumping oxygen into the shaft to help the 19-month-old girl breathe and were forced to free her from the deep well with hand-held shovels in the end.

Following an overnight emergency operation, rescue workers and military carry a 19-month-old girl from a deep hole in the northern Thailand province of Tak, 420 kms. (260 miles) north of Bangkok
The toddler, who is from Myanmar, had fallen into a 15-meter hole used for groundwater pipesImage: Chiravuth Rungjamratratsami/AP Photo/picture alliance

A 19-month-old girl was rescued from a dry well in northern Thailand on Tuesday, some 18 hours after she fell into the shaft while her parents were working at a plantation site.

The overnight operation culminated in applause and cheers as the toddler, a daughter of migrant workers from Myanmar, was pulled out of the 15-meter (49-foot) hole by rescue workers and placed on a stretcher.

"Great job, guys. We did it!" said one rescuer as his colleagues in Tak province's Phop Phra district wept and hugged.

The toddler was immediately sent to Phop Phra Hospital suffering from fatigue but "nothing serious," Phop Phra district chief Sanya Phetset told Thairath TV.

How did the girl fall into the well?

The girl's parents said they had taken her to work with them at a tapioca farm, leaving their daughter under a tree while they worked.

But they raised the alarm after they were unable to find the child during their break and heard cries coming from the well.

The deep pit, dug by the landowner, had been left uncovered after it failed to strike groundwater, according to Phetset.

Rescue teams were forced to work through the night using a mechanical digger, while pumping oxygen into the well to allow the child to breathe.

Authorities feared that the well could collapse if workers continued to use the digger. Out of caution, they used hand-held shovels to remove the final few meters of earth before the 18-hour ordeal for the child came to an end.

Rescue opeations in Thailand

In July 2018, rescue workers successfully brought out all the members of a local young football team from a cave in northern Thailand.

The story had gripped the world before the risky operation involving a team of international divers and Thai Navy SEALs came to a successful conclusion.

Thailand: Diver tells of rescuing cave boys

jsi/rt (AP, AFP)