Rescue crews have retrieved the five-year-old boy Rayan, who fell into a deep well in northwestern Morocco on Tuesday.
The little boy who fell into a well in Morocco on Tuesday is dead. This is stated by the king of the country shortly after the boy was taken out of the well.
Late Saturday night, rescue crews recovered the five-year-old boy Rayan, who fell into a 32-meter-deep well in the remote village of Ighrane in Chefchaouen province on Tuesday night.
For five days, the complex and risky rescue operation has attracted attention not only in Morocco and neighboring countries, but also around the world.
Excavators have in recent days removed large masses around the deep well. On Saturday afternoon, rescue crews entered a horizontal tunnel that they made to reach the place where the boy is. A medical team was with them, for the hope was to find the boy alive.
After several hours of painstaking digging by hand to prevent the earth from raging over the boy and the rescue crews, they managed to reach the five-year-old late Saturday night.
Wrapped in blanket
An on-site AP reporter reports that the boy was wrapped in a yellow blanket after being taken out of the tunnel. Shortly afterwards, King Mohammed of Morocco announced that the boy was dead.
The crews lowered oxygen, water and food into the well earlier in the week, but it was unclear whether he had been able to take advantage of this.
A camera that was also lowered into the well showed that the boy was lying on his side, but it was impossible to determine what condition he was in.
The dramatic rescue operation in Morocco has created engagement throughout North Africa. Hundreds of thousands of Moroccans and people in neighboring countries have watched the rescue efforts on television. The involvement is also great in social media, where the hashtag #SaveRayan has contributed to messages with support and concern flowing in from all over the world.
Singing and prayer
The father has said that he was repairing the well when his son fell.
Hundreds of villagers and others gathered with the boy’s parents to follow the rescue operation and encourage the rescue crews through religious songs and prayers.
– I still have hope that my child will come out of the well alive, Rayan’s father told the TV station 2M on Friday night, when he thanked everyone involved and those who have sent statements of support.
The work of digging out the horizontal tunnel to where the boy is located has been complex and risky.
– The diggers supported a hard rock on the road and were very careful to avoid landslides or cracks, said rescue leader Abdelhadi Tamrani and adds that it took five hours to get rid of the rock properly.
The mountain village of Ighrane with around 500 inhabitants is full of deep wells, most of which have lids. Many of the wells are used to irrigate cannabis crops, which are the primary source of income for many in the poor, barren region of the Moroccan Rif Mountains.