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Morocco held in suspense on the fourth day of operations to save a boy who fell into a well


The ballet of mechanical machines deployed to clear the ground around the 32-meter-deep well did not stop all night in a village near the town of Bab Berred in the province of Chefchaouen, in northern Morocco.

According to local authorities, the bulldozers have already dug up to 28 meters deep and preparations are underway to dig a horizontal breach of a few meters towards the well to reach the small Rayan. But the phase is delicate given the risk of landslide, they added. The operation is very complex due to the nature of the soil, as some layers are sandy and others rocky.

The boy, whose fate is moving the whole country and beyond, accidentally fell on Tuesday afternoon into the dry well, narrow and difficult to access, dug near the family residence in the village of Ighrane. At the latest news, the rescuers would have detected this Friday morning, using a camera slipped into the well where he is, “a small movement that was interpreted as a sign of life” reports Moroccan online media Le360. The news site also indicates that a landslide would have occurred this Friday “in the parallel hole, not far from the well where the child is stuck”. Water and oxygen were piped to him down to the bottom of the cramped well.

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“Rayan was playing next door but he disappeared (Tuesday) around 2 p.m. The whole family got together to look for him until we learned that he had fallen into the well.said, eyes filled with tears, the mother of the child to the local press. “I still hold out hope that they will bring my son back alive” she said. “Our hearts are with the family and we pray to God that he finds his loved ones as soon as possible”wished the spokesman of the government, Mustapha Baitas.

A medical team was dispatched to the scene to “carry out initial examinations and resuscitation interventions for the child once rescued”, according to the MAP news agency. A medical helicopter is ready to take care of him. Rescuers are also supported by a team of topographers.

Dig around the well

Several scenarios have been studied to save little Rayan. At first, the rescue teams tried to descend directly into the well, an operation aborted because its diameter does not exceed 45 centimeters. They thought of widening the diameter of the well, again without success because of the nature of the soil which could lead to a landslide. The only solution: dig around the well.

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This Friday morning, the live broadcasts of several Moroccan media continue to drain hundreds of thousands of Internet users, hanging on to the fate of the child. “Hold on little Rayan, hold on please”, implores a surfer on Twitter. The hashtag #sauvezrayan (in Arabic) is also among the main trends of Twitter in Morocco for the second consecutive day. In addition, there are also many local residents at the accident site, which sometimes hinders the work of the rescue teams.

This accident echoes a tragedy that occurred in early 2019 in Spain. In Andalusia, a 2-year-old child died after falling into an abandoned well 25 centimeters in diameter and more than 100 meters deep dug to find water. The body of little Julen was found after thirteen days of research on an exceptional scale.

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