Five-year-old boy rescued from well has died, says Morocco’s king

A five-year-old boy trapped in a deep well for four days has died, Morocco’s royal palace said.

King Mohammed VI expressed his condolences to the boy’s parents in a statement released by the palace.

Boy Rayan was pulled out by rescue workers on Saturday after a lengthy operation that drew global attention.

An Associated Press reporter at the scene saw the boy wrapped in a yellow blanket after he emerged from a tunnel dug specifically for the rescue.

His parents had been escorted to an ambulance before the boy got out.

Rayan fell into a 105-foot well outside his home in the village of Ighran in Morocco’s mountainous northern province of Chefchaouen on Tuesday.

He was trapped in a hole too narrow for rescuers to safely reach.

For three days, search parties used bulldozers to excavate a parallel trench. Then, on Friday, they began digging a horizontal tunnel to reach the captive boy.

Moroccan news agency MAP said topographical engineering experts had been asked for help.

His distraught parents were joined by hundreds of villagers and others who gathered to watch the rescue operation.

The village of about 500 people is dotted with deep wells, many of which are used to irrigate the cannabis crop, which is the main source of income for many in the poor, remote and arid region of Morocco’s Rif Mountains.

Most fountains have protective covers.

Moroccans took to social media to express their hopes for the boy’s survival, using the hashtag #SaveRayan, which drew global attention to the rescue effort.

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