RESCUE workers are now just six feet away from a five-year-old boy, who has been trapped in a 100ft well for about 96 hours.
Rayan has been trapped in the narrow shaft since Tuesday afternoon at midday as earthquake crews frantically tried to dig down and save him.
The photos showed Rayan, five, bleeding from the bottom of the shaft as digging was painfully halted over concerns the ground was unstable.
The images were captured by the camera on the rope that rescuers used to lower oxygen and water for the injured boy down the narrow passage.
The photos showed hundreds of worried locals – including his parents – gathered to watch the dangerous and complicated rescue mission.
Complicated operations have dragged Morocco for days – but rescuers hope the end may be in sight.
The diggers have now cleared enough land for the workers to start digging horizontally towards Rayan to rescue him.
The boy remained stranded as of midday local time on Saturday.
“We are almost there,” one of the heads of the operation, Abdesalam Makoudi, said Friday afternoon.
“We’ve been working non-stop for three days and fatigue is creeping in, but the entire rescue team is still trying.”
The shaft is less than 18 inches wide and narrows down – too small for anyone to navigate – and widening it is considered too risky.
So heavy machinery was brought in to dig a trench in an attempt to reach the boy from the side and pull him out.
Digging continued throughout the night illuminated by floodlights – but was delayed due to safety concerns.
Experts say they are concerned that the layers of rock and sand are unstable and could fall on the boy.
Rescuers said bulldozers dug to a depth of more than 100ft.
Preparations are being made for the most dangerous part, digging a 10ft horizontal tunnel.
Engineers are on site to assess landslide risks and advise on best practices.
Government spokesman Mustapha Baitas said: “The rescue of the child is approaching.
“Our hearts go out to the family, and we are praying that he gets back to them as soon as possible.”
Doctors and a helicopter are on duty to take him to the hospital.
Rayan went missing while playing in his hometown of Ighrane in Chefchaouen province on Tuesday afternoon.
Rayan’s father was repairing the well at the time of the accident and said he took his eyes off the boy for only a moment when the boy fell.
“In that moment, I took my eyes off him, he fell into the well. I haven’t slept a wink,” he told le360 news site.
The tearful mother, Wassima Kharchich, told Moroccan media: “The whole family was out looking for him when we realized that he had fallen into the well.
“I prayed and prayed to God that he got out of that well alive and safe. God, ease my pain, and him, in that dusty pit.”
Search has covered the North African country, with #SaveRayan trending on social media.
PSG and Morocco footballer Achraf Hakimi posted a broken heart emoji and clasped hands in prayer.
Manchester City’s Algerian star Riyad Mahrez joined the chorus of well-wishes, sharing a photo of Rayan on Facebook with the hashtag “Be strong”.
The case has echoes of two-year-old Julen Rosello, who fell into a well near Malaga, Spain, in January 2019.
Rescuers dug two tunnels to try to save him, but they eventually found him dead after 13 days.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/4614782/rayan-trapped-well-morocco-rescue/ Rescuers now have only SIX FEET left from the boy, 5, who was trapped in a 100ft well for 96 hours as desperate parents watched on