The post-mortem report of two-year-old Fatehvir Singh, who was pulled out from a 150-foot disused shaft Tuesday morning after an unsuccessful rescue operation that lasted over four days, suggested that he died due to hypoxia “a few days back”. The child was rushed to the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh, but the doctors declared him brought dead.
A panel of doctors, comprising Dr YS Bansal and Dr Senthil Kumar from the Department of Forensic Medicine at the PGIMER, conducted the post-mortem examination.
“The post-mortem findings are suggestive of death occurring a few days back. A detailed post-mortem report is being prepared and would be handed over to the investigating officer (police official),” the PGIMER said in a statement issued in the afternoon.
PGIMER sources, quoting additional details emerging out of post-mortem, suggested the death took place “a few days back”.
The cause of the death was suggestive of “hypoxia consequent to suffocation and smothering in a borewell”. Hypoxia is deficiency in the amount of oxygen reaching the tissues. “The mortal remains of the child were handed over to police and relatives,” the institute said.
According to the statement, Fatehvir Singh, son of Sukhwinder Singh, a resident of Bhagwanpura village in Sangrur, was brought to the Advanced Paediatric Centre at the PGIMER at 7.24 am Tuesday.
“On admission, he had no pulse, no respiration and no cardiac activity, hence, the child was declared brought dead,” the statement read.
Later, the police moved a request for the post-mortem examination and submitted inquest papers at the Department of Forensic Medicine, the PGIMER said.
After the post-mortem, a helicopter arranged by the Punjab government brought the toddler’s body back to Bhagwanpura. Family members and other villagers struggled to hold back tears as the body was placed in a small wooden coffin before being consigned to the flames.
The child had turned two on Monday, when he was still stuck at a depth of 125 feet in the shaft. He was pulled out early Tuesday morning by the National Disaster Response Force, officials said. He was taken to the PGIMER in an ambulance by road.
The only child of his parents, Fatehvir had fallen into the borewell while playing at Bhagwanpura village around 4 pm on June 6. He had stepped on a disused shaft, covered with a piece of cloth. His mother tried to save him, but failed, officials said. A massive rescue operation was launched to bring the child out, but he could not be saved.