Rescuers in Vietnam race to free 10-year-old boy trapped deep inside narrow shaft

Rescuers in Vietnam on Monday were trying to save a 10-year-old trapped inside a narrow open shaft of concrete pile at a construction site two days ago on New Year's Eve.

Ly Hao Nam, along with his friends, was searching for scrap metal at a bridge construction site in the Mekong delta province when he fell into the pile on Saturday morning.

He was heard crying for support shortly after the accident but rescuers on Monday said they received no response from him as they lowered a camera down to try to locate his position.

Rescuers have pumped oxygen into the 35-metre-long support pillar and have softened the soil. Since then the pile has tilted slightly, complicating extraction efforts. Water was given to the boy but since Sunday there has been no sign of using the water, local authorities said.

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

So far efforts to lift the pile with cranes and excavators have failed and according to reports, the rescuers were still unable to determine the boy's position.

“We are trying our best. We cannot tell the boy's condition yet,” one rescuer was quoted by AFP as saying.

Prime minister Phạm Minh Chinh has pressed multiple federal ministries into action to speed up the rescue operation.

He ordered the regional administration to work with the disaster response team along with the ministry of defence, the ministry of construction and the ministry of transport to mobilise all resources and equipment needed.

He has instructed the ministers of national defence, public security, transport, and construction to immediately assign competent forces with experience to support the operation, according to Vietnamnet.