IGHRAN, MOROCCO – The Moroccan royal palace announced Saturday the death of a 5-year-old kid who had been trapped in a deep well for four days.
In a statement made by the palace, Moroccan King Mohammed VI extended his sympathies to the boy’s parents.Rayan, the boy, was rescued Saturday night after a lengthy operation that drew worldwide attention.
An Associated Press reporter on the scene witnessed the youngster emerge from a tunnel dug particularly for the rescue, wrapped in a yellow blanket.Before the boy emerged, his parents were led to an ambulance. His predicament had captivated the attention of the entire globe.
As the rescue efforts continued into the night, online expressions of support and concern for the youngster came in from all around the world. Rescuers used a rope to deliver oxygen and water to the youngster and a camera to keep an eye on him. “It is not possible to determine the child’s condition at all at this time. But we hope to God that the child is alive,” said Abdelhadi Temrani, the director of the rescue group, on Saturday morning.
On Tuesday evening, Rayan fell down a 32-meter (105-foot) well near his home in the town of Ighran in Morocco’s hilly northern Chefchaouen province. He is currently trapped in a hole that rescuers cannot safely enter. Bulldozers were utilized to dig a parallel ditch for three days by search personnel. On Friday, they began digging a horizontal tunnel to reach the captive kid. MAP news from Morocco
Temrani told local television 2M on Saturday that rescuers only had two meters (yards) to dig to reach the hole where the boy is stuck. “The diggers encountered a hard rock on their way, and were therefore very careful to avoid any landslides or cracks,” he said. “It took about five hours to get rid of the rock because the digging was slow and was done in a careful way to avoid creating cracks in the hole from below, which could threaten the life of the child as well as the rescue workers.”
Because of concerns that the soil surrounding the well would collapse on the boy, the work has been exceptionally tough. Hundreds of locals and others who had gathered to see the rescue operation joined his anguished parents.
The 500-person community is dotted with deep wells, many of which are used to irrigate the cannabis crop, which is the main source of income for many in the poor, isolated, and dry region of Morocco’s Rif Mountains. The majority of the wells are protected by covers. The specific circumstances surrounding the boy’s fall into the well are unknown.
Moroccans took to social media across the country to express their wishes for the boy’s safety, using the hashtag #SaveRayan, which has drawn international attention to the rescue attempts.