TOTALAN, Spain – Rescuers searching for a two-year-old boy who fell into a deep and narrow borehole over 90 hours ago in Southern Spain were focusing on digging a parallel tunnel after attempts to build a horizontal one failed when they hit a rocky surface, authorities said on Thursday.
A massive rescue team tasked with finding Julen, whose surname has not been released officially, the child who on Sunday afternoon fell down a water prospecting well – 110 meters (361 feet) deep and only 25 centimeters (9.8 inches) wide – located on a private estate in the municipality of Totalan, were putting all their efforts into building a platform to support the boring of a vertical tunnel in a bid to reach the toddler.
Sources from the rescue operation explained to EFE the borehole had been lined, a key operation to ensure the stability of the well and to avoid debris falling into the cavity on top of the child.
The goal now was to carve a tunnel 80 meters deep where rescuers believe Julen to be after a strand of hair was found and confirmed to be his via DNA analysis on Wednesday.
The 100-strong team of firefighters, civil protection officers, underwater divers, specialist Civil Guard rescue teams and private companies that have loaned professional equipment, on Monday found a bag of sweets and a cup.
The toddler’s family – who lost another child to natural causes two years ago – was on site following the operation closely and receiving medical attention from psychologists.