Vietnamese boy, 10, trapped in 35-metre concrete pillar on New Year’s Eve dies

File photo: Rescuers who were attempting to free Vietnamese boy trapped in a shaft (EPA)
File photo: Rescuers who were attempting to free Vietnamese boy trapped in a shaft (EPA)

A 10-year-old boy who fell inside a narrow open shaft of a concrete pile in Vietnam on New Year’s Eve has died, reported state media.

More than 200 rescuers had been working round the clock to free Ly Hao Nam from the 35-metre-long support pillar. But hopes for the boy’s survival began to diminish even as the government pressed soldiers, engineering experts and specialised equipment to pull the concrete pillar from the ground before cutting it to bring the boy out.

“The authorities have determined that the victim has died and are trying to recover his body for the funeral,” said Doan Tan Buu, the deputy chair of the southern province of Dong Thap.

“The boy has been trapped inside the small pillar for four days, with an assumption of multiple injuries. Hope for him to be alive is limited,” he had earlier told Tuoi Tre News on Tuesday.

“We had tried our best to rescue the boy using on-the-spot measures and equipment,” Mr Buu had said. “We later had to report and asked for help from national levels and people with expertise.”

Explaining the difficulty around the boy’s rescue, a firefighting officer from Ho Chi Minh City had earlier said his case was “very complicated” as he was stuck in a pillar that was too narrow for any rescuer to climb into. The pile up was 10 inches wide.

Water was given to the boy but since Sunday there was no sign that it had been drunk.

A wider19m-long metal pipe had been lowered around the concrete pillar to allow the rescuers to remove mud from around the pile in which the minor fell. Rescuers also pumped oxygen into the support pillar and softened the soil.

Earlier on Wednesday, Vietnamese prime minister Pham Minh Chinh had urged rescuers and local authorities to mobilise all equipment and forces needed to assist rescue efforts.