Morocco: the fate of Rayan, 5, stuck at the bottom of a well, arouses worldwide emotion

The Moroccan rescuers entered Saturday, February 5, around 3:30 p.m., in the tunnel which should lead them to the little Rayan, stuck for five days at the bottom of a well. The five-year-old child had fallen on Tuesday into this 32-meter deep hole, near the family home, in this mountainous area of ​​the Rif.

The rescuers are accompanied by a medical team. It was not possible, at the end of the day on Saturday, to know when they will come out, according to AFP journalists on the spot. At the entrance to the tunnel, a group of firefighters is ready. A medical helicopter is also on standby.

International emotion on social networks

This drama has aroused viral and international emotion on social networks. From the Maghreb to Iraq, France or the United States and in all languages, thousands of messages are addressed to the child and his family.

” Impossible to sleep “, writes in the middle of the night from Friday to Saturday a French Internet user. Rayan is “also fallen into our hearts”, launch another. Unknown people compete in creativity to show, with the help of diagrams, the rescue site and media accounts like regularly broadcast images.

Public figures have also expressed their support, such as Nadia Hai, Minister Delegate in charge of the city.

In Morocco, a national cause

For Moroccans, beyond the human stakes of the event, the rescue enterprise has become a national cause. “The rescuers are literally moving a mountain”comments a user.

As a sign of solidarity, thousands of supporters have flocked in recent days, some from afar. They camp on the spot despite the freezing cold of this mountainous area, at nearly 700 meters above sea level.

Metal barriers have been in place since Friday to contain the crowd and prevent it from hindering the construction site.

“I remain hopeful that my child will come out of this well alive”said Rayan’s father on Friday, January 4, on public television 2M. “I thank all those mobilized and those who support us in Morocco and elsewhere. »

A race against time

The child who was playing near his house had disappeared around 2 p.m. on Tuesday. “The whole family got together to look for him until we learned that he had fallen into the well”told the local press the mother of the child, her eyes filled with tears.

Engaged in a race against time, the Moroccan rescuers progressed very slowly to try to save the boy. The diggers began by digging a pit nearby, then the men took over to extend access to the child.

No certainty about Rayan’s state of health

Saturday, in the early morning, an obstacle slowed down the operations, the rescuers having to fight with a large rock blocking their way. According to local authorities, engineering teams got rid of it after three hours using small electrical equipment to avoid cracks and cave-ins.

The cement tunnel was introduced in the trench to secure access to the child, due to the nature of the ground composed of rocks and very sandy areas.

When they entered the tunnel, the rescuers had no certainty about Rayan’s condition. The previous days, they had tried to send him oxygen and water through tubes, without certainty that he had been able to use them.

The child appeared lying on its side, from behind, according to the latest images from an inspection camera introduced into the cramped well. Abdelhadi Tamrani, a chief rescuer, nevertheless declares to keep “high hopes” to extract it alive.

In 2019, the drama of little Julen in Spain

and accident echoes a tragedy that occurred in early 2019 in Andalusia (Spain), where a two-year-old child died after falling into a well 25 centimeters in diameter and more than 100 meters deep.

The body of little Julen had been found after 13 days of research on an exceptional scale.


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