The rescue operations to pull 7-year-old Muthu Lakshmi out of an abandoned borewell on a farm in Enanganur village near Aravakurichi in Karur district on Saturday commenced with three earth movers.
A separate pit was dug near the borewell.
However, around 4 pm, workers could not dig beyond five feet as rocks were blocking the way. A special rescue machine, which was developed by a research centre from Madurai, was called in for help around 5 pm.
Despite their best efforts, the girl could not be pulled out. “Since sand was covered near the child as it was a newly dug spot, the rescue operation was delayed”, said the rescue machine’s operator.
At around 4 pm, the girl’s condition reportedly deteriorated.
Till then, she reportedly responded to the rescue personnel’s calls from above.
The rescue team also teased her mother’s saree into the pit and asked her to hold onto it tight, which she did.
Around 5 pm, the rescue team said the child had become unconscious.
At about 6 30 pm, drilling work began on the rocks simulateously. Though Muthu Lakshmi was rescued around 10 45 pm, she breathed her last an hour later.
Collector S Jayanthi, who monitored the rescue operation, said severe action would be taken against those who abandoned the bore well.