Boy trapped in Chinese well found dead after four days

BEIJING (AFP) - A young boy who had been trapped down a well in China for more than four days was found dead on Thursday (Nov 10), state media said, despite a desperate rescue attempt involving hundreds of people.

The six-year-old's body was discovered in the abandoned, narrow 80m-deep well in Hebei province in northern China, the official Xinhua news agency said.

He had been helping his father harvest vegetables in Baoding city on Sunday when he fell.

A team of more than 500 rescuers and 100 excavators arrived on the scene after the father made a call for help on social media, Xinhua said.

The 30cm well shaft was too small for adults to enter, so rescuers widened it while pumping in oxygen, it added.

Photos showed teams of hard-hatted men hauling woven baskets filled with dirt away from the well's mouth, while digging machines scrabbled frantically at the dry brown earth around it, carving a wide, shallow crater.

Multiple ambulances stood by on-site.

Rescue efforts were hampered by the surrounding soil, whose soft and sandy consistency makes it prone to collapse.