Fears for boy, 10, after spending four nights in 35m-deep hole

Fears continue to grow for a 10-year-old boy who fell inside a hollow concrete pillar at a construction site in Vietnam on Saturday as rescuers work to free him.

Thai Ly Hao Nam was reportedly searching for scrap iron with friends when he fell through the hollow 25cm-wide opening of the concrete pillar, which sits in 35m-deep hole at a site in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap, in southern Vietnam.

The boy was heard crying for help shortly after he fell into the pile on New Year's Eve morning, but rescuers received no response from him on Monday when they lowered a camera down the hole to try to locate his position.

Rescuers at construction site in Vietnam's Dong Thap province.
Rescuers have tried to rescue the 10-year-old boy who fell down a 35-metre deep shaft at a bridge construction area in Vietnam's Dong Thap province on Saturday. Source: Getty

Several hundred people with professional equipment, including excavators and cranes, have been deployed at the site since Saturday, it's been reported. But rescuers say it's not clear if he's alive.

Photos show rescuers attempting to remove mud from around the pillar before trying to lift it out, but so far with no success. They have also softened the soil around the pillar to try to free it, but that has made it tilt and complicated rescue efforts, Reuters news agency reported.

Oxygen has been pumped into the deep support pillar to help the young boy breathe. One official reportedly said the boy is likely to be badly injured if he does survive. But now, after four days, there is "limited" hope.

Rescuers at construction site in Vietnam's Dong Thap province.
Rescuers have tried removing mud from around the narrow shaft where the boy remains trapped after four days. Source: Getty

"We are trying our best. We cannot tell the boy's condition yet," one rescuer at the scene told AFP news agency on Monday.

"I cannot understand how he fell into the hollow concrete pile, which has a diameter of a (25 cm) span only, and was driven 35 metres into the ground," Le Hoang Bao, director of Dong Thap province's Department of Transport, told local newspaper Tuoi Tre News.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

The deputy chairman of the Dong Thap provincial people's committee Doan Tan Buu said rescuers have "tried our best to rescue the boy using on-the-spot measures and equipment" but resorted to asking for help from national levels.

The area has reportedly been sealed off from the public while the rescue effort takes place.

with Reuters and news agencies.

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.