Rescuers to cut concrete pillar apart to get boy's body out

By Ngoc Tai, Hoang Nam   January 5, 2023 | 02:38 am PT
Rescuers to cut concrete pillar apart to get boy's body out
Rescuers gather at a construction site in Dong Thap Province to get the body of a 10-year-old boy from a concrete pillar planted deep underground. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Nam
Rescuers are planning to cut a 35-meter-deep concrete pillar apart instead of pulling it out to find the body of a 10-year-old boy who was trapped inside for the past five days.

Doan Tan Buu, deputy chairman of the southern Dong Thap Province, on Thursday said rescuers were trying to get the first segment of the pillar out of the ground. As it is located deep underground, forces are consulting with experts for the most viable solutions, he added. Previous attempts to pull the pillar out on Wednesday night all failed, he said.

"When devices were sent 30 m down the concrete pillar, we discovered a block of soil and suspected that the boy must have been inside it. However, the block was too heavy and compacted, so we couldn't get it out," Buu said, adding that once the first segment of the pillar is pulled out, the second one would follow.

Authorities of Dong Thap said 10-year-old Thai Ly Hao Nam, who fell into a 35m-deep concrete pillar at a local construction site and got trapped there, has died following 100 hours of unsuccessful rescue attempts.

The plan is now to recover his body as soon as possible, said Buu.

Nam and three of his neighbors went to a bridge construction site on Provincial Road 857 in Phu Loi Commune to gather pieces of iron to sell as scraps.

Nam was walking when he fell into the hollow concrete pillar, which measures 25 centimeters across, and has been trapped.

No one knows for sure where in the pillar the boy is. Witnesses said he screamed for help for 10 minutes after falling in, but rescuers have not heard from him.

Le Hoang Bao, director of the Dong Thap Department of Transport, said the construction site is fenced and there are warning signs, but officials would check for possible safety violations.

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