A young boy has cheated death after being sucked into a subterranean cave while swimming in a river in eastern China.
The trapped seven-year-old was spotted by rescuers after he stuck out his hand through a tiny gap on the ground.
Footage captures the heart-pounding moment one of the rescuers gripped onto the child’s hand while others tried to dig up a hole to save him.
The incident occurred on July 22 in Yongjia county of Zhejiang province when the boy’s grandfather took him to swim in a local river, according to the local fire brigade.
The grandparent said that the child suddenly disappeared from the water when he wasn’t paying attention.
While desperately looking for his grandson, the man and other villagers suddenly saw a small hand sticking out through a tiny hole on the ground.
They immediately called the local firefighters for help after locating the child who was trapped in the underground cave.
Footage released by the authorities shows the youngster grabbing a rescuer’s hand while the firefighters attempting to open a hole.
Within less than ten minutes, the boy was successfully rescued after he was pulled out of the tunnel through a gap.
The local authorities said that they were unaware of the underground cave before the terrifying incident occurred.
It was said to be a culvert that diverts river water into an underground cave system.
The tunnel will be sealed to prevent such accidents from happening again, according to the officials.
It comes after Chinese authorities have warned parents about the danger of children swimming in rivers and reservoirs.
In June, eight children drowned in a river in south-western China after one of them fell in it by accident and the others jumped in to help.
The victims, all primary school pupils, had gone to play at a beach by themselves on Sunday on the Fu River in Chongqing, reported state broadcaster CCTV citing local officials.
Their bodies were discovered after rescuers searched for the youngsters overnight.