MALAGA, Spain – Rescuers searching for a two-year-old boy who fell into a deep and narrow borehole in southern Spain were on Friday working to finish the construction of a platform from which they would dig a parallel tunnel that would lead to where the child was thought to be.
Rescue teams continued to gain ground with a complex rescue operation to reach Julen, whose surname has not been released officially, who on Sunday 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, but they were working against the clock with the prospect of rain hitting the region.
A delegate of the College of Civil Engineers and Canals in Malaga, Angel Garcia, explained on Thursday that once rescuers started perforating the tunnel, engineers would assess how the operation could run in parallel to the extraction of debris from the well the toddler fell into after they hit a hard surface blocking the borehole earlier in the week.
By Thursday 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 100-strong team of firefighters, civil protection officers, underwater divers, specialist Civil Guard rescue teams and private companies that have loaned professional equipment, were expected to complete works of a 30-meter-deep platform from which the first parallel tunnel could be carved.
Engineers would also start boring a second tunnel as soon as technicians considered it time to do so.
Infiltration ditches would also be built in order to drain any rainfall that could arrive over the weekend.
On Monday, rescuers found a bag of sweets and a cup and on Wednesday a strand of hair was extracted from the hole and confirmed to belong to the boy via DNA analysis.
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.