Hopes rise for Rayan, 5-year-old boy trapped in Morocco well since Tuesday

Hopes rise for Rayan, 5-year-old boy trapped in Morocco well since Tuesday
Moroccan authorities expect to reach Rayan today, after more than 48 hours of digging around the well, in which the 5-year-old boy has been trapped since Tuesday.
2 min read
04 February, 2022
Rayan's incident drew attention to the situation of wells in Moroccan villages [Getty]

More than 50 hours into a dramatic rescue mission, Moroccan authorities and volunteers are still trying to save the life of a five-year-old boy trapped in a well in a small village in northern Morocco since Tuesday.

Little Rayan Awram fell down a 32-meter-deep well on Tuesday afternoon while playing around his family's home in the small village of Ighran, near Chefchaouen city, locals told The New Arab.

The state-onned news agency Maghreb Arab (MAP) said authorities had drilled 28 meters by Friday morning.

Since Wednesday, authorities have been digging around the well using bulldozers hoping to save the trapped child. 

Despite the risk of using bulldozers, they remain the only solution after the failure of all volunteers' attempts to go inside and reach Rayan due to the narrowness and the lack of oxygen inside. 

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Moroccan authorities have provided Rayan with breathing oxygen through a long tube going inside the well, as they are watching his situation via a camera attached to a rope. However, authorities denied having been able to provide the child with food as some international media reported.

The type of the soil surrounding the well is slowing down the rescue operation, as many landslides happened yesterday, setting back hours of work, according to locals statements to The New Arab.

Today Friday is expected to be the last day in the rescue operation, as authorities will opt for hand-digging mechanisms to speed through the last meters separating Rayan from the outside world, supervised by a team of topographers.

A medical helicopter belonging to the Royal Gendarmerie and medical crews specialized in resuscitation are mobilized on the spot, to carry out the necessary medical interventions after Rayan’s hoped-for exit.

Rayan's fate has caught the world's attention. Online, videos and pictures of the rescue operation, shared using the hashtag #SaveRayan in Arabic, went viral, as international media and people from the Arab world are following the hourly updates, praying for the child’s life.

The incident raised criticism about the safety of wells in Moroccan villages, where they remain the primary source of drinking water for locals. Neglected and unfenced wells threaten the safety of locals, especially children, with frequent reports of similar incidents occurring over the past few years.