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Morocco: Plight of child stuck in 30-metre well grips nation

Authorities desperately attempt to save five-year-old Rayan who fell down a well in the Chefchaouen province on Tuesday
Hundreds gather near the Chefchaouen province of northern Morocco as authorities attempt to save 5-year-old stuck down a well (Screengrab/Twitter)

The plight of a five-year-old child stuck at the bottom of a water well has gripped Morocco, as authorities desperately attempt to save his life. 

The boy, identified as Rayan, fell into a 30-metre deep well in a village near the Chefchaouen province in northern Morocco on Tuesday. 

Rescue efforts have been ongoing since then, and local authorities confirmed that the child was still alive after a day. 

Civil protection services attached a mobile phone to a rope and lowered it to communicate with Rayan and monitor live images of his surroundings. The boy sustained injuries to his head, with several pictures of his bloodied face circulating on social media. 

Local authorities have deployed bulldozers to dig around the well, but are wary that the method could further injure Rayan, according to local media reports. 

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A volunteer attempted to go down the well using a rope, but failed to reach the bottom due to its narrowness. 

'Save Rayan'

Hundreds of locals gathered around the well long into Wednesday night to witness the rescue operation. 

The story has been trending on Moroccan social media, with users tweeting the hashtag “Save Rayan” to share solidarity and post updates. 

The football club Raja Casablanca posted an image with the words “God be with you little Rayan”. 

Moroccan journalist Atimad Salam said: “Thinking of Rayan and his parents, we follow the continuous and complex rescue operation with our hands on our hearts. May God bring this painful experience to a happy ending tonight.”

One video circulating on social media showed a tearful child speaking to the Moroccan press after having travelled 60km to help the rescue efforts. 

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