In what officials called “a Christmas miracle,” first responders spent six hours chiseling free a 4-year-old Texas boy who fell into a water well.
The incident occurred Tuesday after 4 p.m. when authorities in Starr County received a call that the young boy had fallen into the well on a ranch property in Garceño.
Fire and emergency officials from various agencies nearby responded as a team worked to get the boy out.
According to tweets from the nearby city of Mission, the boy fell into a “8-inch wide pit,” forcing rescue crews to rely on chisels to save him.
“So proud of our Mission firefighters & all 1st responders that rescued the child after 6 long hrs,” the city said in another tweet, sharing video of the moment rescuers pulled the boy free.
Robert Alvarez, the assistant fire chief of the Mission Fire Department, told USA TODAY that a team from his department trained in trench rescues was called to the scene to assist.
“The biggest thing that we were trying to make sure was that the operation was done safely,” he said.
The crew dug parallel to the boy into another hole in the ground, and when they were deep enough, the team began removing dirt from the exterior wall of the hole where the boy was.
When the child was able to be freed, “everybody was relieved,” Alvarez said.
According to the Starr County Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page, the boy was admitted to the hospital late Tuesday and was in stable condition as he underwent testing.
“Last night proved to be a testament of our community and neighboring communities’ unity and sincere concern for each other,” Starr County Sheriff Rene “Orta” Fuentes said in a Facebook post. “Through prayers and actions from everyone involved a little boy lives today.”