Rescuers are set to pull up a concrete pillar buried 35m underground this morning to rescue a 10-year-old boy stuck inside it since last Saturday.
The process to excavate the concrete pillar at a site in Mekong Delta’s province of Dong Thap will start at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, four days after a rescue mission was launched to save the boy who accidentally fell into it.
A member of the rescue command who wants to remain unnamed said the process for the crane to pull up the concrete pillar would take around two hours.
On Tuesday morning, rescuers placed a steel pipe with a diameter of 1.5m around the concrete pillar.
Since then, they have pumped water in to remove the soil from around the pillar and reduce friction.
A new plan for pulling up a concrete pillar where a boy has been trapped since Saturday noon in Dong Thap Province. Graphics by Khanh Hoang
Before coming up with the solution of using the steel pipe, rescuers had planned to save him by pulling up the pillar, which is closed at the bottom, by softening the ground around it by pumping water.
But it had to be done at a measured pace and with caution to prevent the pillar from breaking and endangering the boy’s life.
By Monday afternoon drilling had gone on for over 48 hours and rescuers said they had reached 30m below ground and by then, rescuers had hoped to pull up the pillar by Monday night. However, they gave up that plan later, fearing the pillar might not survive the stress and break up.
Around noon last Saturday, Thai Ly Hao 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 at the purpose of selling them to scrap vendors.
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.
Buu said the boy is likely to have multiple injuries, and the rescue team is standing by with emergency aid both for him and his family members who may have been shocked at seeing 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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