10-year-old boy trapped in pit in Vietnam no longer responding to rescuers


A 10-year-old boy who fell into a 10-inch-wide pit on New Year’s Eve while looking for scrap metal with his friends at a bridge construction site in southern Vietnam has stopped responding to rescuers.

More than 200 rescuers have been struggling to save the boy, who has been stuck inside a narrow open concrete pile in Dong Thap Province since Saturday.

Ly Hao Nam was heard crying for help after falling into the pile, but authorities are unsure of his current condition as he has stopped responding to the rescuers.

The boy’s situation is unlike previous cases due to the fact that the pillar is too narrow for a rescuer to climb inside to reach the boy. A firefighter from Ho Chi Minh City told VnExpress that circumstances are “very complicated” and that “the only solution is to pull the pillar up.”

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According to Doan Tan Buu, deputy chairman of the Dong Thap Provincial People’s Committee, there is limited hope that the boy is alive since he has been trapped in a small space for four days with the assumption of multiple injuries.

On Monday, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh commanded federal-level rescuers, soldiers and engineering experts to combine efforts to free the boy by Tuesday.

In the meantime, local rescuers have been drilling and softening the surrounding soil, removing mud from around the pile and pumping oxygen into the support pillar.

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The director of Dong Thap’s transport department, Le Hoang Bao, has expressed the team’s determination to pull the 35-meter pillar out of the ground by Tuesday. They plan to use specialized equipment to pull the pile up before cutting it to free the boy.

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