Local people had blocked the road and raised protest after the men of Vizhinjam Fire and Rescue Services unit refused to go down a second time into the well to resume rescue operations.
Kovalam MLA Jameela Prakasam and the police were called in with things threatening to turn ugly. The firemen were even subjected to a medical test after a section of the people charged them with being drunk. But the test cleared the officers.
According to the firemen, the Vizhinjam unit was alerted about the mishap at least half an hour after the incident. They managed to pull out Satheesh, but could not go in a second time. Later, Chakkai unit had to send in an emergency unit to resume the rescue operations.