A 6-year-old boy who fell down a well outside his Baltimore County home struggled to keep his head above water for nearly an hour last night before firefighters pulled him to safety.
Roderick D. Aguillard IV was playing hide-and-seek with his two younger brothers about 6: 30 p.m. yesterday when he ventured into a pump house outside the family home in Parkton. The floorboards gave way, sending the frightened boy plunging more than 40 feet down a stone-lined well.
Rescue teams worked for about an hour before the boy was pulled from the well and taken by helicopter to the Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore. He suffered a broken leg and was to be evaluated for possible head and chest injuries and hypothermia, said Battalion Chief Mark Hubbard, a spokesman for the county Fire Department.
The boy's father, Roderick D. Aguillard III, said firefighters told him that "he must have fallen with an angel by his side."
He said he and his wife felt very fortunate their son was not seriously hurt and that "God really does intervene when you ask him to."
Aguillard said his family has lived at the house, in a rural community on a state road about two miles from Interstate 83 in northern Baltimore County, for about two months.
He said he did not know the pump house covered the property's well.
Lt. Mark Gardner, a county firefighter trained to rescue people trapped in confined spaces, was lowered down the dark shaft to retrieve Roderick.
"We could hear him crying all the way from the top," Gardner said. "As I was lowered down, I heard him gurgle a little bit. He was starting to go under a little.
"He said his leg was really sore and he wanted to see his mom. He kept calling for her."
Rescue teams lowered air lines into the well to provide oxygen for the boy and a life jacket.
Gardner said rescue workers gingerly moved around the top of the shaft, taking care not to kick loose rocks down the well.
L Strapped into a harness, Gardner was lowered into the shaft.
Another harness was lowered for the boy.
Gardner said the boy was soaked and clinging to a pipe in the well, and to a rope lowered by the rescue team.
"I kept telling him to keep his head up," Gardner said.
Just before 7: 30 p.m., the boy was brought to the surface. His mother cradled his head as paramedics wrapped him in blankets and prepared him for the helicopter ride to the hospital.
As the helicopter took off, firefighters hammered nails into wood planks to seal the pump house.
Pub Date: 4/09/97