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Toddler rescued from well

A two-year-old girl is in hospital after falling into a well in a field just outside of Bonnyville on Friday afternoon.

A two-year-old girl is in hospital after falling into a well in a field just outside of Bonnyville on Friday afternoon.

The specific condition of the child was not known as of press time, but Bonnyville RCMP has been told she is alive and her condition is improving.

"The fact that this little girl is still fighting is a testament to the men and women of Bonnyville's emergency services community including EMS, Fire Services, RCMP, and our dedicated hospital professionals," said Bonnyville RCMP Staff Sgt. Luis Gandolfi.

A relative notified the police, EMS and fire departments just before noon on Friday that the girl had fallen into a 10-foot well in a field adjacent to highway 41, south of highway 28.

The child struggled to stay afloat in the freezing water for several minutes, eventually falling below the waters surface, according to an RCMP press release.

Responding officer Const. Mathieu Nadeau was secured and lowered headfirst into the well in an attempt to save the girl. Unable to reach her with his arms, the officer was extracted from the well. A fireman lowered a pike into the well and used it to grab on to the child's clothing. After several minutes he was able to hook onto the child and bring her to the surface.

EMS personnel immediately began performing CPR on the child, who was unresponsive. She was rushed to the Bonnyville Health Centre where medical staff worked on her for several hours. Eventually she was flown to Edmonton's Stollery Children's Hospital via STARS Air Ambulance, where she remains.

"I am very proud of my members, and I'm certain that this sentiment is shared by all supervisors and managers from all emergency services. I am particularly proud of Const. Mathieu Nadeau who was selflessly lowered face first down this very narrow hole in a valiant attempt to rescue the child," said Gandolfi.

Victim Services has been brought in to assist the family members and employees where needed.

The RCMP have capped the well and made sure it poses no further threat to anyone in the area. They are currently investigating the circumstances of the well and how it came to be left uncapped.

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