The three-year-old boy Sujit Wilson who was stuck in an abandoned borewell near Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu since Friday is dead, an official said on Tuesday.
Commissioner of Revenue Administration J Radhakrishnan said the body of the child was “dismembered” and in a “highly decomposed” state. “Efforts are on to retrieve the mortal remains of the child,” the official said in the early hours of Tuesday.
Officials said only a few parts of the body had been retrieved.
“The 2-year-old boy’s body is now in decomposed state. We tried our best to rescue him but unfortunately foul smell has started coming from the borewell in which the child had fallen. The digging process has been stopped,” J Radhakrishnan, Principal Secretary in the Transport Department and the Relief Commissioner told reporters.
Sujith Wilson was playing near the abandoned borewell on Friday evening when he fell inside. Progress on the rescue was slow because of rocky terrain and complex procedures, including drilling the parallel tunnel to reach the boy while ensuring the passage of oxygen to enable him to breathe in the closed space.
Authorities had earlier said Sujith was trapped at a depth of around 26 feet. Attempts to pull him up using a rope are believed to have caused him to fall further below to a depth of 88 feet. It is still not known how deep the borewell is; officials guessed it could be anywhere between 600 to at least 1,000 feet down.
Celebrities and politicians also joined thousands of people in praying for the well being of Sujith. Prayer meetings were held across Tamil Nadu for the safe rescue of the child and in several towns, people took out silent marches.