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Indian rescue mission to save girl trapped in well ends

The efforts to save Mahi Upadhyay, 5, were televised live by national news channels, with people across the country performing religious rituals and offering prayers for her survival.

NEW DELHI // A four-day rescue mission to save a young girl who had fallen down a dry well in India ended unsuccessfully today when her body was brought out by emergency services.

The efforts to save Mahi Upadhyay, 5, were televised live by national news channels, with people across the country performing religious rituals and offering prayers for her survival.

The girl fell down the well on June 20 while playing with her friends in a village in Harayana state, about 50 kilometres southwest of New Delhi.

Hundreds of soldiers, engineers and medical experts were involved in the attempt to rescue her, using heavy machinery to dig a parallel tunnel to reach her as well as pumping oxygen into the well to try to keep her alive.

Her body was carried out wrapped in a blanket and taken to a nearby hospital where doctors declared her dead.

"Mahi was stuck at a level of 60 feet (20 metres). The diameter of the well was very narrow, nothing could be sent inside to save her," Anil Rao, a senior police officer, said at the scene.