- Workers pulled out the 5-year-old Moroccan boy who fell down a 100-foot well on Saturday evening.
- But the Moroccan royal palace announced shortly afterward that the boy had died.
- Rescuers spent four days trying to reach the boy by digging a massive trench next to the well.
The 5-year-old boy who fell 100 feet down a well, prompting a grueling four-day rescue effort, has died, according to the Moroccan royal palace.
A statement published Saturday said the king had spoken with the parents of the boy, Rayan Oram, and expressed his condolences, according to the Associated Press.
The daring rescue attempt drew international headlines and captivated social media users, who used the hashtag #SaveRayan to cheer on efforts to save the little boy. Thousands watched livestreams of the ongoing rescue and crowds of spectators gathered near the well in the village of Ighran, in Morocco’s Chefchaouen province.
The rescue was complicated by fears of a landslide and collapsing soil. Workers were unable to safely pull the boy out or expand the opening of the well, and instead dug out a massive trench parallel to the well, then tunneled horizontally to reach Rayan.
Footage and photos from the scene showed bulldozers and workers surrounding the scene, as intense floodlights lit up the cavern.
Rayan’s condition was unclear throughout much of the rescue effort. Workers lowered water, food, and oxygen to the boy, and on Thursday, footage from a camera lowered into the well showed the bloodied child breathing and moving.
As the days went on, authorities eventually stopped providing updates on his condition.
“It is not possible to determine the child’s condition at all,” chief rescuer Abdelhadi Temrani told reporters earlier on Saturday, according to the Associated Press. “But we hope to God that the child is alive.”
That same evening, rescuers finally reached Rayan and successfully pulled him out, prompting cheers from the onlookers who had gathered at the scene. Though it wasn’t immediately clear whether he was alive, the boy was carried to an ambulance immediately.
Soon after the rescue, the Moroccan royal palace issued a statement announcing the boy’s death.
Moroccan King Mohammed VI “confirmed that he had been following the developments of this tragic accident closely, and had issued instructions to all the concerned authorities to take the necessary measures and make the utmost effort to save the life of the deceased,” the statement said, according to The New York Times.
The statement added that “it was God Almighty’s will.”
Rayan’s father told local media he had been working on the well when his son fell into it on Tuesday but initially hadn’t realized where his son had gone. Rayan’s family, neighbors, and local rescuers had searched the area fruitlessly before realizing the boy had tumbled down the well.
Rayan’s fall occurred “that one moment I took my eyes off of him,” the father said, according to the BBC.
“I haven’t slept a wink,” he added.
Courtesy By INSIDER