Vietnam rescuers battle to save 'unresponsive' boy trapped in 35-metre shaft

Thai Ly Hao Nam, 10, was heard crying for help after he fell into the hollow pillar at a building site on Saturday

Rescuers gather at the spot where a boy fell into a 35-metre-deep shaft at a bridge construction site in Vietnam. AFP
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Hundreds of rescuers in Vietnam are battling to free a boy trapped down a 35-metre-deep hole at a construction site.

Thai Ly Hao Nam, 10, fell into the shaft of a hollow concrete pillar only 25 centimetres wide on Saturday.

The pillar, part of a new bridge in southern Dong Thap province, sank while the boy was looking for scrap iron with friends.

Hundreds of people are working to save the boy, with the military, police, paramedics and roads and bridges specialists involved in the rescue effort.

“We are trying our best. We cannot tell the boy's condition yet,” a rescuer told AFP, identifying himself only as Sau.

Nam was heard crying out for help shortly after he fell into the hole, but rescuers received no response from him on Monday as they lowered a camera down to try to locate his position.

Rescuers have been continuously pumping oxygen into the hole where he is trapped, they told Vietnamese media, and are focus on drilling and softening the surrounding soil to try to pull the pillar up.

Efforts to lift the pile with cranes and excavators had so far failed and the pile has since tilted, complicating rescue efforts and leaving them unsure of the boy's exact position.

On Monday, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh asked federal rescuers to join efforts by local authorities to save the boy.

Authorities say they have no idea how he came to fall so far down.

“I cannot understand how he fell into the hollow concrete pile, which has a diameter of 25cm span only, and was driven 35 metres in to the ground,” Le Hoang Bao, director of Dong Thap province's Department of Transport, told Tuoi Tre News.

Updated: January 02, 2023, 11:37 AM