A large team of Moroccan workers was in the “final stages” of a precarious mission to rescue a 5-year-old boy named Rayan from a 105-foot deep well that he had been trapped in since Tuesday.
Vertical digging efforts had given way to a cautious operation to bore a parallel route between the newly drilled deep hole and the well where Rayan was still stuck Friday night, according to French-language local outlet Le360.
Workers were bulldozing cautiously to avoid soil erosion, landslides and falling rocks as they tried to reach the boy. The teams could not descend directly into the well because it was too narrow, the report said.
Rescuers had made contact with Rayan and gave him oxygen and water through the slim opening on Thursday. The boy was bloodied and breathing heavily, according to footage from a camera that workers had lowered into the well.
As the frantic rescue effort reached its fourth day, the North African nation was reportedly riveted to live coverage of the rescue effort in the rural village of Ighran, about 75 miles southeast of the Straight of Gibraltar, as the hashtag #FreeRayan spread on Twitter in Morocco, Algeria and France.
Rayan fell into his family’s well on Tuesday afternoon when he accompanied his father on a repair job.
“Rayan was next to me. At one point he fell. I didn’t realize it,” father Khalid Agoram told Le360.
“We alerted the authorities and all the inhabitants came to support us. Everyone is doing their best so that he comes out alive and that we can take him in our arms by the end of the day. But I do not hide from you that me and his mother are shot and very worried.”
Medical staff were on site to attend to the boy, as a helicopter on standby to transport him to a hospital as supporters reportedly flooded the scene to provide encouragement and food to Rayan’s family and rescue workers.
With Post wires