Did rescuers' mistake cause Jihad's death 250 feet down the well?

Did rescuers’ mistake cause Jihad’s death 250 feet down the well?


The recovery of the body of 4-year-old Jihad from inside the 600-feet deep pipe of Railway’s deep tubewell at the Shahjahanpur Railway Colony by some local people a few minutes after the Fire Service abandoned the rescue operation on late Saturday afternoon has resolved one question that the boy’s playmates did not lie in telling that he had slipped into the 18-inch diameter pipe while playing on Friday afternoon.
But it’s not yet clear as to how one would deal with open remarks from the rescuers that there was no trace of Jihad’s body inside the pipe before they ultimate abandoned the rescue operation, and the statement of the state minister of Home Affairs Asaduzzaman who was reported telling journalists that Jihad’s being in the abandoned water pipe was just a rumour.Doctors at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital where Jihad’s body was taken declared him dead saying he passed away several hours before being taken there. What a sad story! Fire Service members were telling people since 3-30 am on Saturday that there was no trace of the boy inside the galvanised iron (GI) pipe as they surveyed it with the help of a movie camera.
One pertinent question is, what was the cause of Jihad’s death. Before lowering a video camera inside the well, Fire Service people had said to journalists that Jihad had responded to calls, taken food, and had even caught a rope that was dropped inside the well, but could not hold on to it. Doctors at DMCH said that the ill-fated boy died several hours before he was taken to the hospital at about 3 pm on Saturday, which means he was alive when the rescuers were unable to trace him with the help of a camera.
Two locals told the media that they would have been in trouble had Jihad’s body not been found in the well. One of them, railway official Jahid Mia, said “At first I asked Jihad – ‘uncle, are you alright?’ he answered ‘yes’.” “I spoke with him several times until 10pm,” he said.
Driver Mohammad Sohel, the other witness, also gave similar account of the event while sharing his experience standing beside the abandoned pipe on Saturday afternoon, an hour after Jihad had been pulled out. “The two of us would have been in danger if the body was not found.”
“Several detectives and people from the media started looking for us after it was reported early in the morning that the news of the boy being trapped in the pipe was nothing but a rumour,” Sohel said.
Recalling the first hours of the rescue operation, railway official Jahid said, “We dropped a thin nylon rope and asked him whether he got the rope, he answered ‘No’.”
“Then we had pulled the rope and dropped it again with a torch and asked if he got the light, he answered ‘yes’. He had also admitted that he got the rope,” Jahid said. “Then we asked him to hold the torch upwards. But the rope got lighter after pulling up around 10 feet,” he said.
“Afterwards, we dropped a thick rope with a torch and he had held it but released after some time,” he said. According to him, the firemen and law-enforcers removed them after around four attempts to rescue him.
The Fire Service closed the rescue operation at 2:30pm on Saturday, 23 hours after the rescue operation had started as they could not spot him. After a few minutes, the locals pulled out his body and took him to a hospital where doctors announced him dead.
From late Friday night to early hours of Saturday fire servicemen worked hard and pulled a 2-inches diameter pipe from inside the 18-dia water pipe apparently to clear the passage for bringing Jihad out. But they did so without ascertaining the position of the boy. And nobody knows whether Jihad had received fatal injuries in his frantic bid to catch the pipe, or in the darkness the lower end of the 2-inch dia pipe that had a motor attached hit him fatally. It remains a riddle why the fire servicemen failed to trace Jihad even with the help of a camera and a torch that were lowered down the well.
It is clear that since the rescuers could not trace Jihad, the effort made to remove the 2-inch pipe was useless, and that pulling it out with the help of a crane was undertaken without prior assessment of its usefulness or otherwise of this measure. If safety of the boy was the number one consideration the pipe should have been removed only after assessing Jihad’s position and the usefulness of its removal.
The 23-hour tireless effort of the Fire Servicemen brought not only frustration but also disgrace because the rescue operation clearly was not fine tuned. Now this official body of train rescuers cannot explain to the people why they failed to recover Jihad in 23 hours when untrained local recovered his body in just a matter of minutes!


Comments are closed.