A minor girl trapped in a dry borewell for nearly 54 hours was found dead on Monday night at a village in Karnataka’s Belagavi district, said a rescue team official early Tuesday.
“The rescue team members found six-year-old Kaveri dead and buried in mud around 11.50 p.m. at about 30 feet in the borewell pipe. She fell and remained stuck since Saturday evening,” a member of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) told reporters at Jhunjarawadi village in Athani taluk, where the tragic accident occurred in this northern district, 640km from the state capital Bengaluru.
The Pune-based NDRF team retrieved Kaveri’s bruised body from the dreaded borewell through a parallel tunnel it dug for two days after drilling the rocky terrain.
“We have shifted the body in an ambulance to a state-run hospital at Athani for autopsy before handing it over to Kaveri’s parents,” said the official.
Kaveri accidentally slipped and fell on Saturday evening into the open borewell in a farm while playing with friends near her house in the village, 145km from Belagavi.
“We have registered an FIR (First Information Report) against the absconding owner (Shankarappa) of the borewell and the farm land on which it was left abandoned after it dried up due to drought and scorching summer,” Belagavi Superintendent of Police Ravikanthe Gowda told reporters at the accident spot after midnight.
Karnataka Small-Scale Industries Minister Satish Jarkiholi, who hails from the district, lamented that Kaveri could not be saved despite all efforts by the NDRF team and the fire brigade personnel.
“It’s a tragic incident which should not have occurred. Our heart-felt condolence to her bereaved family even as the entire state mourns for her,” Jarkiholi told reporters here.
Kaveri’s grieving and inconsolable mother Savita told news channels that no other child should meet the fate of her young child.
“We appeal to the state government to shut all open and dry borewells anywhere in the state so that no other child will die like my dear Kaveri,” said Savita.