Morocco gripped by rescue operation of five-year-old stuck in a well

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Rescuers in Morocco raced against the clock on Friday to save a young boy trapped in a deep well for almost three days, in an operation that has gripped the kingdom with hundreds of thousands anxiously glued to live broadcasts.

The child, who local media have identified as a five-year-old boy named Rayan, was reportedly playing near the well in the northern town of Tamrout, 100km (62 miles) from Chefchaouen.

Rayan is believed to have fallen about 32m (104ft) through a narrow opening.

Rescue operations, led by Morocco’s Civil Protection Directorate, have been ongoing since Tuesday evening.

The child’s rescue is approaching,” government spokesman Mustapha Baitas said on Thursday evening.

“Our hearts are with the family, and we are praying that he will back with them as soon as possible.”

Despite suffering a significant fall, footage from a camera lowered into the well showed that the boy remains alive and conscious, though he appeared to be suffering from some minor head injuries.

Rescue workers have lowered an oxygen mask, food and water into the well and a medical team is also on site, ready to treat the boy. A helicopter has also arrived at the scene to bring him to hospital once he has been extracted from the well.

Thousands of people have been watching footage of the rescue on social media, and a large group of onlookers have gathered at the scene.

PHOTO – Rescue operations are underway by Moroccan authorities and firefighters to get five-year-old child Rayan out of a well into which he fell some two days earlier, in the region of Chefchaouen near the city of Bab Berred, Morocco. EPA-EFE/Jalal Morchidi

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