Morocco well rescue for five-year-old grips nation

American Age Official
Heavy machinery attempting to rescue to the boy from the well

Provincial authorities brought in heavy machinery in an attempt to rescue the child

Morocco has been gripped by efforts to rescue a child who fell into a well near the northern city of Chefchaouen.

The child, who local media have identified as a five-year-old boy named Reyan, was reportedly accompanying his father who had been repairing the well when the accident occurred.

He is believed to have fallen to a depth of around 32m (104 ft).

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

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.

Local media reported that provincial authorities are overseeing rescue attempts and that dozens of police, auxiliary forces, Royal Gendarmerie and civil protection officers are now involved in the operation, footage of which has been followed by thousands of Moroccans on social media.

However, rescue efforts have been hampered by the narrowness of the well and several attempts by local volunteers to gain access have already failed.


Authorities have reportedly ordered five bulldozers to begin been excavating an area parallel to the well’s outer shaft in an attempt to bypass the narrowness of the structure. They have so far reached a depth of 19m (62ft).

Rescue chief Abdelhabi Temrani told the state-owned Al Oula TV station that rescuers had been working on the well for 24 hours as “the diameter of the well is less than 45 centimetres” (18 in).

But authorities are concerned that any interference with the well could cause unintended injury to the child.

Rescue workers are also concerned about the extent of the child’s injuries, and have lowered an oxygen mask, along with food and water, into the well.

A medical team has also arrived on site to treat any injuries sustained by the boy during his fall.

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