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Rescue of Boy Continues a Third Day in Morocco


Residents watch in concern as civil defense and local authorities dig in a hill as they attempt to rescue a 5 year old boy who fell into a hole near the town of Bab Berred near Chefchaouen, Morocco, Feb. 3, 2022.
Efforts to rescue a five-year-old continued Friday in Morocco, three days after he fell into a well near the northern city of Chefchaouen.

Local media reported the boy’s father said he had been repairing the 32-meter well near his home Tuesday when his son fell in.

First responders confirmed the boy, named Rayan, was alive by lowering a video camera down the well’s narrow shaft. The MAP news agency said rescuers had been able to send him oxygen and water through pipes.

With the well’s shaft too narrow for rescuers to reach the bottom and the soil too loose to risk widening it, heavy construction equipment was brought in to dig a parallel hole alongside it. State media reports early Friday rescuers were about six meters from the child.

Efforts to reach the boy were streamed on social media, capturing public attention, and sparking an outpouring of sympathy online, with the Arabic hashtag #SaveRayan going viral across North African, including in neighboring Algeria.

The coverage has also brought crowds of onlookers to the scene to watch the rescue, though officials have kept them a good distance away.

Local television reports showed a medivac helicopter standing by at the scene to take the child to a hospital once he is freed.

Some information for this report was provided by the Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

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