Thiruvananthapuram district fire officer Sooraj S said it was a 90-feet-deep well and many of the iron rings had broken, filling the well with massive amount of mud and water
A 55-year-old man trapped inside a 90-feet-deep well in Thiruvananthapuram’s Vizhinjam after a portion collapsed on him on July 8 was pulled out dead on Monday by a joint team of rescue workers that had been working for more than 50 hours in an effort to save the man, people familiar with the matter said.
Thiruvananthapuram district fire officer Sooraj S said they had figured during the operation that the man’s chances of survival were slim but they couldn’t give up on him.
Maharajan, who had migrated from Tamil Nadu’s Parvathipuram and settled in Kerala over 20 years ago, descended into the well at his house in the Vizhinjam area of Thiruvananthapuram district on the morning of July 8 to reinforce the well’s iron rings when it collapsed, burying him under a massive heap of mud and slush.
“It’s a 90-feet-deep well and many of the iron rings had broken, filling it with massive amount of mud and water. The more we excavated mud and brought it out, the more mud and water filled in the well. We realised that Maharajan had fallen quite deep and it would be difficult to survive,” Sooraj S told HT.
It was too much of a risk to send personnel into the well as there was a danger of a bigger and secondary collapse. So, rescue workers brought in men who were experts at well construction and repair from the neighbouring Kollam district.
Together, with the help of locals, they reinforced the iron rings at the top to prevent the well from collapsing from above. The work was so tiring that the personnel could only work for a few hours before a new team had to replace them, said Sooraj.
“We knew from the outset that this was a huge challenge, considering how deep and confined the space inside the well was. The soil was also extremely loose so the chances of collapse were high… It was slow but systematic. The locals there were very helpful. We couldn’t have done it without them,” said Sooraj.
The officer underlined that it was disappointing not to be able to have brought out Maharajan alive. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.
“But we couldn’t leave his body behind. It was unthinkable. After nearly 50 hours, we were able to bring his body around 10:30 am on Monday,” the officer said.