Mahi, the four-year-old girl who was trapped in a narrow and deep borewell here for 86 agonising hours, was yesterday declared dead after rescuers reached her through a parallel tunnel.
Doctors said she might have died on the day she fell or on the next day since her body had decomposed. Gurgaon officials said she was dead even before soldiers, who had been working non-stop for days, finally made contact with the child just after noon yesterday. Doctors, after a post-mortem examination of Mahi’s body, said her body had decomposed.
“She might have died the same or the next day,” said Deepak Mathur, who along with BB Agrawal, conducted the post-mortem. The examination report has not yet been prepared. However, the girl’s body has been handed over to the parents, an attendant said.
The girl accidentally fell into the 70-feet deep borewell at the IMT township just before midnight on Wednesday, sparking a major rescue operation involving the army and civilian agencies.
The news shattered the thousands of people who had gathered outside the hospital and at the site of the borewell for days, hoping and praying that the girl would somehow survive.
Mahi’s grieving parents were inconsolable. Her mother broke down on hearing that her daughter was no more. “Who will give us back our daughter now?” asked her father Neeraj Upadhhyaya. The parents accused the administration of delaying the rescue efforts.
A senior army officer admitted that the rescue operation was slowed down by the rocky terrain. “We could not dig as fast as we wanted,” said Brigadier SP Singh. “There were too many rocks. We couldn’t blast them for fear of hurting our own men or the girl. This slowed down our work.” he added.
According to Gurgaon police, a four-year-old girl had similarly fallen into a deep borewell in the same area on February 26, 2004. But she was rescued, thanks to the initiative of a police officer.