Disasters & Accidents

Vietnam rescuers hope to pull up pillar with trapped boy inside

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Jan 4 (EFE).- Vietnamese rescue teams were hoping Wednesday to pull up a hollow 35 meter-deep concrete pillar to save a boy trapped inside for four days.

Ten-year-old Thai Ly Hao Nam fell into the 25cm-wide shaft of the pillar while looking for scrap metal on a southern Vietnam bridge construction site with friends on New Year’s Eve.

Security cameras captured the moment in which the boy suddenly disappears while walking on the uneven ground.

On Tuesday morning, rescuers put a steel pipe around the pillar and have pumped water in to remove the soil from around it and reduce friction, VnExpress website reported.

The new plan came about after the first plan of pumping in water around the pillar to loosen soil was deemed too risky for fear the pillar might break up.

Rescue workers and soldiers at the scene said they expected to pull up the pillar to rescue the boy on Wednesday, according to state media outlet Tuoi Tre.

“Despite tremendous efforts, [the rescue has yet to finish] as the incident is rare and the rescue conditions are extremely unfavorable,” Senior Lieutenant Colonel Tran Minh Cong from the Combat Engineer Brigade 25 told the outlet on Tuesday.

“After the concrete pile is pulled out, the Combat Engineer Brigade 25 will determine the position of the boy and cut the concrete pile to bring him out.”

Since the accident occurred, some 350 rescuers, including police officers and firefighters, have attended the scene to help the boy and pump oxygen into the hole so that he can continue to breathe.

It is unclear where in the pillar the boy is, and while witnesses said he screamed for help for 10 minutes after falling in, rescuers have not heard from him, VnExpress said. EFE


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