Spanish rescuers find body of toddler trapped in well

Julen Rosello (2) fell into borehole while walking with his family in Totalan

Miners of the Hunosa Mining Rescue Brigade, Fire Brigade and Civil Guard work to resuce a two-year old boy at a well in the town of Totala, Malaga, Spain, January 25th, 2019. Photograph: EPA/Daniel Perez

Miners of the Hunosa Mining Rescue Brigade, Fire Brigade and Civil Guard work to resuce a two-year old boy at a well in the town of Totala, Malaga, Spain, January 25th, 2019. Photograph: EPA/Daniel Perez

 

Spanish rescuers on Saturday found the body of a two-year-old boy who had fallen into a deep narrow well in southern Spain on January 13th, a Spanish official said.

Miners had been drilling day and night to reach the boy, Julen Rosello, into the borehole – 100 metres (300 feet) deep and just 25 cm (10 inches) wide – which was blocked with soil.

The dry waterhole, only 10 inches in diameter, was too narrow for an adult to get into and hardened soil and rock blocked equipment from progressing to the place two-thirds of the way down where the toddler was trapped.

During the nearly two weeks of the ordeal, officials came up with several alternative routes to the toddler.

A series of small explosions set off since Thursday afternoon, including a fourth one late on Friday, helped the crews make their way through a horizontal tunnel to the cavity.

Before that tunnel could be dug some 230 feet underground, a vertical shaft was drilled during days of painstaking engineering to bring miners and rescue experts up and down.

“At 1.25am (12.25am Irish time), the rescue teams reached the area of the well where they were looking for Julen and they found the lifeless body of the little one,” said a government spokesperson in Malaga.

There had been no signs of life since the boy had fallen into the borehole as his family was walking through a private estate in Totalan in southern Spain. Rescuers found the well was blocked with soil, raising fears the well had collapsed on top the child.

In one of the few media interviews the child’s parents gave before the body was found, father Jose Rosello said the family was “heartbroken” by the long wait but hoping for “a miracle”.

Adding to the family’s tragedy, Spanish media had reported that his parents had another young son who died of a heart attack in 2017.–Reuters/PA