Trapped Vietnam boy’s body retrieved after 21 days

HO CHI MINH CITY, 20 Jan 2023:

Rescue teams in Vietnam today retrieved the body of a 10-year-old boy, who died after falling into a hollow concrete pillar at a construction site in the southern province of Dong Thap three weeks ago.

Thai Ly Hao Nam fell into the 25cm-wide and 35m-deep shaft of the pillar while looking for scrap metal on a bridge construction site with friends on New Year’s Eve.

Two rescuers from the Dong Thap Province police department pulled his body out at 1:20am today after descending through an iron pipe to a depth of 24m – in a risky operation that lasted for almost two hours, the provincial government said in a statement.

“After 21 days of all-out efforts to rescue, at 1:20am, on the morning of 20 January 2023, the rescue and rescue force brought the body of Thai Ly Hao Nam to the ground.”

Despite rescue efforts, which mobilised some 350 people and included measures such as pumping oxygen into the hole and sending the water to the boy, Nam was declared dead four days after the fall, due to the “multiple injuries” that he sustained, as well as lack of oxygen and heat, the statement added.

“From this point on, the rescue work changed its goals and methods into the determination to bring the boy’s body up as soon as possible.”

Provincial deputy chairman Doan Tan Buu said at a press conference the rescue teams pulled out Nam’s body “intact” as the decomposition process occurred more slowly than usual due to geological conditions, US nonprofit Radio Free Asia reported.

Doan added that the authorities will launch an investigation into the incident.