boy dies after being trapped for four days in a well.

A five-year-old Moroc­can boy who was trapped in a well for four days has died, despite stren­u­ous efforts to save him.

The attempt to free the boy, named Rayan, had gripped the coun­try, with hun­dreds gath­ered at the well and thou­sands more in line.

The boy dived 32 m (104 ft) through the nar­row shaft open­ing. The res­cue had been ham­pered by fear of a landslide.

No word was giv­en at the time about his con­di­tion, and the appar­ent res­cue was ini­tial­ly greet­ed with cheers from the crowd.

But it turned to grief min­utes lat­er when the state­ment announced Rayan’s death.

Twit­ter users then began pay­ing trib­ute and express­ing their sad­ness using the same hashtag.

“Fol­low­ing the trag­ic acci­dent that claimed the life of the child Rayan Oram, His Majesty King Mohammed VI called the par­ents of the boy who died after falling into the well,” the state­ment from the roy­al palace said.

The king expressed his deep­est con­do­lences and heart­felt com­pas­sion, he added.

Rayan’s father was repair­ing the well at the time of Tues­day’s acci­dent. He told local media the fol­low­ing day that his son had fall­en into the well at “that moment when I took my eyes off him”, adding: “I haven’t slept a blink of an eye”.

Res­cue oper­a­tions in the small north­ern town of Tamorot, about 100 km (62 miles) from the city of Chefchaouen, began on Tues­day evening.

On Thurs­day, footage from a cam­era low­ered into the well showed the boy was alive and con­scious, but there had been no update on his con­di­tion since then.

Res­cuers tried to get the boy oxy­gen, food and water, but it was unclear if he was able to use them.

The mix­ture of rocky and sandy soils meant that res­cuers con­sid­ered open­ing the nar­row shaft of the water well too dangerous.

Instead, bull­doz­ers were used to dig a huge trench next to the well.

Short pre­sen­ta­tion trans­par­ent line
Res­cuers then began dig­ging hor­i­zon­tal­ly to reach the boy. Some worked around the clock, using pow­er­ful flood­lights at night.

The oper­a­tion had to be briefly inter­rupt­ed sev­er­al times to allow teams to check that the hill was safe from col­lapse and that no earth was enter­ing the shaft. Large pipes were also used to pro­tect res­cue teams by pro­vid­ing safe pas­sage to the shaft.

Sev­er­al hun­dred peo­ple gath­ered to wit­ness the oper­a­tion, singing reli­gious songs, pray­ing and chant­i­ng “Allahu Akbar”. Some even camped on the site.

A local res­i­dent, Hafid El-Azzouz, told the AFP news agency that he was there to show “his sol­i­dar­i­ty with this child, who is dear to Moroc­co and to the whole world”.

The inci­dent recalls a sim­i­lar tragedy in Spain in 2019, in which a two-year-old boy died after falling into a bore­hole near the city of Malaga.

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