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Kansas Toddler Freed From Well Hours After Fall

May 14, 1999|From Associated Press

MULVANE, Kan. — A toddler who fell 16 feet into a narrow well Thursday night was pulled free about five hours later after firefighters dug a tunnel to rescue him.

Firefighters freed 17-month-old Jesse shortly before midnight as his family waited above. He was strapped to a board and appeared to be in good shape, rescuers said.

The boy was immediately taken by ambulance to the hospital. During the rescue effort, Jesse talked to the crew and cried, Sedgwick County Fire Marshal Greg Thompson said.

About 50 emergency workers worked under floodlights as Jesse's parents, whose names were not released, talked to their son.

Firefighters dug a hole about 25 feet deep near the well, and then tunneled toward the well. They worked in 15-minute shifts, digging by hand and taking dirt out in 5-gallon buckets.

The well is 20 to 25 feet deep and only 8 to 10 inches wide. The boy was outside with his father shortly before 7 p.m. when he fell 16 feet and became stuck with one arm over his head, authorities said.

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