An astonishing video has captured the moment that a 7-year-old boy, trapped in a cave and in danger of drowning, reached through a tiny hole in the ground to grasp his grandfather’s hand. The nerve-wracking situation began when fast-moving waters swept the boy into an underground cave while he swam in a nearby river. What followed was a race against the clock to break the boy free from his watery confinement.
The situation unfolded on Wednesday, July 22 in the Chinese city of Wenzhou, reports The Sun. Grandfather Lao Ye said he had taken his 7-year-old grandson to swim in the Nanxi River. However, during a moment when Ye wasn’t paying attention, the boy disappeared in the fast-moving waters.
“The child suddenly disappeared,” Ye told the Qianjing Evening News. “I was really scared to death at the time.”
After frantically searching the area with some other villagers, Ye finally found the boy’s tiny hand sticking out from a small hole in the ground. The river had swept him into an underground cave but he had thankfully been able to find a pocket of air near the hole. Desperately, Ye grasped his grandson’s hand to prevent him from being swept underwater once again.
A Desperate Rescue
As he continued holding on, the Zhejiang Fire Department arrived and began efforts to free the boy. Rescuers reportedly worried that a straightforward excavation could cause a dangerous cave-in. Instead, they used crowbars and their bare hands to break up the ground nearby.
After nearly ten minutes of digging, firefighters pulled the boy out from the ground, saving his life and reuniting him with his grandfather. Fortunately, the boy did not receive any serious harm or injuries, according to the Yongjia County Fire Rescue Brigade.
In the wake of the heart-pounding incident, local officials told the Qianjing Evening News that they had been unaware of the cave system’s existence. However, they announced a decision to seal the cave to avoid any similar incidents in the future.
Meanwhile, the Zhejiang Fire Department took the opportunity to remind parents to carefully monitor their kids as they swim.
“Summer [has] a high incidence of drowning accidents. As a parent, you must not let your guard down!” a statement from the department regarding the incident said. “Ineffective parental supervision is an important reason for children drowning!”
Below is some of the footage from the early part of the rescue. You can watch a longer version on The Sun.