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Rescue workers in Morocco get closer to a boy trapped in a well | Morocco


Moroccan rescuers worked through the night to rescue a five-year-old boy trapped underground in a well in northern Morocco.

The complex, slow and risky earthmoving operation gripped the people of the North African kingdom and even drew sympathy from neighboring Algeria, a regional rival.

The child, identified publicly only by his first name, Rayan, fell into the well in the hill town of Chefchaouen on Tuesday.

The shaft is 32 meters (10ft) deep and narrows as it descends to a diameter of 45cm (18in) at the top, meaning rescuers cannot descend themselves to retrieve the pit. ‘child.

Rescue teams, using bulldozers and front-end loaders, dug almost to the end, but the last 2 meters are the most difficult due to the risk of landslides.

Working non-stop in the dark, under powerful spotlights, they are also digging a horizontal tunnel to reach the pocket where Rayan is, according to local authorities.

There has been no information on the boy’s whereabouts, but as time passes, fears arise over whether he will be recovered alive.

Overnight, crews maneuvered a heavy pipe into position in the area.

“We are almost there,” said one of the operation’s managers, Abdesalam Makoudi, adding: “fatigue is mounting, but the whole rescue team is holding up.”

The hilly region around Chefchaouen is extremely cold in winter and although Rayan had been reduced to food, it was not clear if he had eaten any. He was also supplied with water and oxygen through a tube.

A helicopter stood ready to transport Rayan to the hospital as soon as he was released.

“I remain hopeful that my child will come out alive from the well,” Rayan’s father told state television 2M on Friday evening. “I thank everyone involved and those who support us in Morocco and elsewhere.”

The boy’s mother told Moroccan media that Rayan was playing nearby when he went missing on Tuesday afternoon.

“The whole family went out to look for him and then we realized he had fallen into the well,” she says.

Dozens of townspeople and others gathered to help and watch the rescue efforts. Across the country, Moroccans expressed their hopes for the boy’s survival, using the hashtag #SaveRayan, which drew global attention to the rescue efforts.

“The rescuers are literally moving a mountain to save little Rayan. I hope their efforts will not be in vain and that those who have prayed for him will have their prayers answered,” one user wrote.