Child falls in 100m well…body missing for week

Civil defence teams drill pit next to well and say girl could be reached within hours

A six-year-old Saudi girl plunged into a deserted 100-metre water well while on a picnic with her family last week, triggering a massive rescue operation in the Gulf Kingdom.

But nearly eight days after her fall, civil defence teams and other Saudi rescuers failed to pluck the girl out because of difficult topographical conditions inside the well, which was drilled by a Saudi farmer years ago to supply water to local nomads.

Newspapers said sensor cameras dangled into the well showed the girl landed on a rock around 30 metres deep and that civil defence men have been working deep inside for several days to reach the body.

Sabq Arabic language daily said the civil defence had to dig a 30-metre pit next to the well in order to reach the body.

“There are numerous obstacles and difficulties facing us..the topographical nature inside is very risky and our men down there face the danger of moving sand and earth,” it said, quoting major general Mastour Al Harthi, civil defence director in the northwestern town of Hakl, where the incident took place.

“But we are carrying on…we are working round the clock and we have so far reached nearly 23 metres deep…only seven metres are left…we will be able to reach the girl and pluck her out within hours.”

The paper said authorities are searching for the Saudi farmer who had dug the well and left it uncovered to “become a trap for passersby.”

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