Rescuers ready to drill tunnel for Spanish boy trapped in well

People comfort each other on a road after leaving the area where Julen, a Spanish two-year-old boy fell into a deep well four days ago when the family was taking a stroll through a private estate, in Totalan, southern Spain, on Thursday. — Reuters

TOTALAN, Spain — Heavy trucks brought drilling equipment and giant pipes as rescue workers prepared on Friday to dig a tunnel in an effort to reach a two-year-old boy who has been trapped in a deep well in southern Spain since Sunday.

“The priority now is the works on the vertical tunnel,” said a spokeswoman for the regional government in Malaga.

Officials said on Thursday they were not losing hope of finding the boy alive, but the operation would take at least a few days.

A second tunnel is also planned after rescuers have erected a platform to remove earth and debris.

The child, Julen, fell into the well which is just 25 cm (10 inches) wide and 100 meters (yards) deep as his family walked through a private estate in Totalan, Malaga.

The case has captivated Spain and the whole country is holding its breath for the outcome, not least because Julen’s parents lived another family tragedy in 2017. According to media reports, their three-year-old son died suddenly while walking along a beach not far from Totalan.

Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska thanked public and private entities on Friday for “putting all their means at our disposal” in what he said was a very complex rescue operation. — Reuters