After the tragedy

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHANG YU in Shi­ji­azhuang zhangyu1@chi­nadaily.com.cn

County au­thor­i­ties be­gan in­spect­ing all aban­doned wells after a 6-year-old boy, who fell into a dry well on Sun­day in He­bei prov­ince, was found dead on Thrus­day night.

County au­thor­i­ties be­gan ex­am­in­ing all aban­doned wells after a 6-year-old boy, whofell into a dry well on Sun­day morn­ing in Baod­ing, He­bei prov­ince, was found dead on Thurs­day night.

“We’ve learned the les­son, and will take mea­sures to elim­i­nate all po­ten­tial dan­ger posed by aban­doned wells through­out the county,” Wu Su­jie, the deputy di­rec­tor of the of­fi­cial res­cue team, said dur­ing a news con­fer­ence fol­low­ing the dis­cov­ery of the boy.

The six-year-old, Zhao Zi­cong, was con­firmed dead at around 11pmon Thurs­day after he was found at the bot­tom of the 40-me­ter well.

Ac­cord­ing to Wu, the well was dug in the late 1990s for irrigation and was aban­doned in 2011, after which it was cov­ered but not filled.

Wu said no­body knew when the cover was re­moved.

The boy fell into it by ac­ci­dent when play­ing with his older sis­ter on farm­land in Zhong­meng chang vil­lage.

Res­cue ef­forts lasted for about 107 hours.

Since the well was too small for a res­cue team to en­ter, they could only dig the soil around it.

Wu said there had been risks of land col­laps­ing dur­ing the dig, when they had to stop un­til they made sure of no fur­ther dan­ger to res­cue teams.

About 300,000 cu­bicme­ters of soil had been dug out, and would be re­placed, Wu said.

More than 160 ve­hi­cles and 500 peo­ple, in­clud­ing vol­un­teers, par­tic­i­pated in the res­cue ef­fort.

XIE KUANGSHI / FOR CHINA DAILY

A six-year-old boy is lifted from the bot­tom of a 40-me­ter dry well on Thurs­day night after more than 100 hours of res­cue ef­forts. He was later con­firmed dead.

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