Rescue operations in progress to save the migrant labourer who was trapped in a well at Mukkola in Thiruvananthapuram | B P Deepu
Rescue operations in progress to save the migrant labourer who was trapped in a well at Mukkola in Thiruvananthapuram | B P Deepu

Little success in retrieving man trapped in well in Thiruvananthapuram

Maharajan, a native of Parvathipuram, who has been staying at Venganoor for the last two decades, got trapped after soil slipped from the middle portion of the well by 9am.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  The rescue operations to retrieve a 55-year-old Tamil Nadu native, who was buried deep inside a 90-feet well at Mukkola near Vizhinjam on Saturday while laying concrete rings, met with little success even many hours after the mishap occurred.

Maharajan, a native of Parvathipuram, who has been staying at Venganoor for the last two decades, got trapped after soil slipped from the middle portion of the well by 9 am. His colleague Manikandan had a miraculous escape as he managed to claw onto the rope and was swiftly pulled out by other co-workers who were standing above. The Fire and Rescue Services has deployed around 60 men to conduct the operations. However, they failed to retrieve the body of Maharajan.

Regional Fire Officer K Abdul Rasheed said loose soil inside the well was posing safety issues, and hence the retrieval of the body was delayed. According to him, water has been rising in the well rapidly and apart from that, soil is slipping from above, thereby increasing risks for the men involved in rescue operations. 

The diameter of the well was less than one-and-a-half metres, and only two men could enter the well at a time. As one of the men went to the bottom of the well to dig out the soil, the other kept a watch on the soil movement to avert any mishaps. 

Rescue operations to retrieve Maharajan, 55, of Tamil Nadu, who was buried deep inside a 90-feet well at Mukkola near Vizhinjam on Saturday while laying concrete rings, met with little success even many hours after the mishap occurred | B P Deepu
Rescue operations to retrieve Maharajan, 55, of Tamil Nadu, who was buried deep inside a 90-feet well at Mukkola near Vizhinjam on Saturday while laying concrete rings, met with little success even many hours after the mishap occurred | B P Deepu

The well has about 26 concrete rings, and some of them in the middle portion had breached, resulting in the tragedy. According to a rescue worker, for each basket of soil they remove, same or more quantity of soil was falling off from the above. Also, the water was rising in the well. 

“Water is oozing from the well like a stream. Also, the soil inside the well is loose. If we disturb it a bit, chances are there of the well totally caving in. That will be disastrous,” a rescue worker said. A senior Fire and Rescue officer said the assistance of the expert well-diggers was valuable.

“If the well was even 200 feet deep, we have men who can go inside and bring him out. It’s not the depth but the topography that is against us. We removed about 30 feet of soil and could see the hand of Maharajan. Only six to seven feet of soil was there to be removed. But when we attempt to do that, more soil falls from above. The well-diggers, who are watching the work from above, notice the soil movement and ask us to stop digging if they find unusual soil movement. Then we halt,” said the officer.

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