Girl, 3, rescued from Argentina well

ARGENTINES across the nation cheered as rescuers pulled a three-year-old girl from a deep water well late after a lengthy ordeal mostly broadcast live on television.

“It was a miracle,” President Cristina Kirchner said of the rescue today after visiting young Vanessa Mamani, who was recovering in hospital at Florencio Varela, 25km south of Buenos Aires.

“She got out and screamed as if she had just been born,” Ms Kirchner said.

The girl was under medical observation but suffers only “from a state of shock and at present is doing fine,” hospital director Arnaldo Medina said.

She fell down a 30-metre-deep well used by farmers that was hidden by bushes in a field in Pilares, near Florencio Varela.

The well had a 35cm diameter, too narrow for an adult to be lowered in to pull her out.

Her plight soon drew more than 200 rescue workers, including police and fire fighters.

Television networks followed in rescue in real time via a small camera linked to a fibre optic cable that attached to a special harness rescuers lowered into the well.

The head of the area’s fire fighters, Marcelo Tucci, said it was unclear until the last moment if the young girl was mature enough to follow instructions to put on the harness.

The 7.5-hour ordeal reached its climax late yesterday when viewers saw Vanessa grab the harness and place it around her chest.

“Come on, come on … We made it! We made it!” shouted the chief rescue operator when Mamani’s face finally peered out of the wellhead.

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