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Dramatic rescue saves Thai baby who fell down well

Published : 07 Feb 2023 10:37 PM | Updated : 08 Feb 2023 03:28 PM

A baby girl has been rescued by authorities after she fell down a deep well in northern Thailand.

The 19-month-old child fell down the 13m (42ft) deep shaft while playing on Monday afternoon in Tak province, near the Myanmar border.

Authorities launched an overnight rescue operation after the girl's parents - who had been working in a nearby field - raised the alarm.

She was taken to hospital and treated for minor injuries, officials said.

"She has signs of fatigue but still has good vital signs," local police chief RatsaranKetsoising told AFP.

Panic was sparked after the baby girl - who is said to be the daughter of two Myanmarese migrants - fell through a 30cm (12in) wide gap at the top of the well.

The baby's parents said they had taken her to work with them at a tapioca farm in the Khiri Rat sub-district. They said they had left her 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 nearby well.

Rescue teams were forced to work through the night using a mechanical digger, with which they dug a 10m deep pit adjacent to the well shaft.

Oxygen was pumped into the well to allow the child to breathe. Images at the scene showed rescue workers in hard hats working at the bottom of a deep pit.

But authorities told local media that they feared that the well could collapse in on itself and harm the child if they continued to use the digger, so they used hand-held shovels to remove the final few metres of earth.

PBS Thailand reported that rescue workers reached the child at about 08:00 local time (01:00 GMT), but were unable to pull her out immediately, as she appeared to have suffered an injury to her leg.

However, cheers erupted shortly afterwards from the assembled rescue workers after the girl was finally pulled from the well.

"We are so glad we could rescue her safely," rescue worker ChanachartWancharernrung told reporters. "We have been trying since yesterday afternoon. We worked without sleep. Everyone helped out."

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