Rescuers strive to save boy trapped in 35-meter-deep hollow concrete pillar

A group of rescuers is seeking ways to save a 10-year-old boy who fell into a 35-meter-deep hollow concrete pillar in Dong Thap Province.
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Rescuers work through night to save the 10-year-old boy, who is trapped in a 35-meter-deep hollow concrete pillar. (Photo: SGGP)

Mr. Le Hoang Bao, Director of the Department of Transport of Dong Thap Province, on the evening of January 1, said that authorities were still trying to save T.L.H.N., a 10-year-old boy who fell into a hollow concrete pillar that was 25 centimeters in diameter and about 35 meters deep at the construction site of Roc Sen Bridge in Phu Loi Commune in Thanh Binh District.

“Currently, the boring machine has been sent to the site. The rescuers are drilling to cut into the concrete to dig and widen the pit by about 10m, and then they will use a 50-ton crane to lift the concrete pillar up to save N., who is trapped inside it. While there is life, there is hope," Mr. Bao said.

Mr. Le Hoang Bao said that the rescue team was constantly supplying oxygen to the concrete pillar, but they did not know the boy's health conditions.

“First, we must do what it takes to save the boy. We will handle mistakes later. No one expected this incident to happen. The construction site has warning signs of danger and is roped off," said Mr. Bao.

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Rescuers have not been able to approach the boy. (Photo: SGGP)

According to Mr. Huynh Minh Tuan, Vice Chairman of the People's Committee of Dong Thap Province, rescuers are still seeking every way to save N. More than 20 10-kilogram oxygen tanks have been pumped into the area under the pillar with the assistance of the machine and the 40-meter-long pipeline.

At about 10:23 p.m. on the same day, the rescue team deployed the drilling after the boring machine was dispatched to the scene by waterway. “Currently, the drill bit has drilled around the pile abutment. With the motto ‘there is life, there is hope’, rescuers will carry out all solutions to save the boy. The rescue team is racing against time to promptly bring the boy out safely in the hope that miracles will happen,” Mr. Huynh Minh Tuan informed.

Mr. Huynh Minh Tuan emphasized that this incident was rare. Authorities were mobilizing more vehicles from other places to save the boy, although the rescue team had worked through the night.

Nguyen Truong Xuan, 31, an engineer of Nhat Nam Construction Company, said that his unit was doing the geological survey for the An Huu - Cao Lanh Expressway project when it was requested by the Department of Transport of Dong Thap Province to send vehicles to save the trapped boy.

"The incident of the 10-year-old boy falling into a hollow concrete pillar with a diameter of D50 and the hollow diameter of only 23-25cm is extremely rare and has never happened," he said.

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More than 20 10-kilogram oxygen tanks have been pumped into the area under the pillar with the assistance of the machine and the 40-meter-long pipeline. (Photo: SGGP)

Thai Van Tan Tai, 40, and Nguyen Thi My Linh, 34, the parents of the 10-year-old boy, said that their family was poor. Currently, they are working as hired labor to raise N. and their youngest daughter, who has just turned one.

Previously, at around 11:30 a.m., on December 31, 2022, T.L.H.N. and three of his neighbors went to a bridge construction site on Provincial Road 857 in Phu Loi Commune to pick up scrap metal. When passing through the construction work, N. fell into a hollow concrete pillar 25cm in diameter and hammered into the ground about 35m deep. The other kids shouted for adults to help but failed. At first, the victim called for help, but later, no more sounds were heard. After receiving the news, the rescue team quickly arrived at the scene and deployed many rescue plans.

The Roc Sen Bridge has been constructed for about six months, with abutments on both sides being completed. Each abutment is fixed by three concrete pillars. A few days ago, the construction team moved the machinery to the abutment on the other side but did not fill the piles that were plugged in previously. The bridge abutment was temporarily surrounded by warning lines.