The Toddler Yelled as He Fell Into 360-Foot Well

Major rescue effort underway in Spain
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2019 10:25 AM CST
More than 100 firefighters and emergency workers in southern Spain are searching for a 2-year-old who fell into a narrow, deep well on Sunday.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Marrero)
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(Newser) – The 2-year-old yelled as he vanished. Now, an effort is underway to locate the child, who hasn't been heard from since he fell into a 360-foot-deep borehole while walking with his family in southern Spain on Sunday. The only sign of him so far: The cup and candies the child, named Yulen or Yulan, was holding were spotted at a depth of 255 feet by a camera lowered into the hole; the camera has reportedly made it to a depth of 262 feet thus far. The hole measures just shy of 10 inches wide, meaning it's too small for an adult to fit into, and there's plenty of concern about the potential for collapse. Indeed, the Local reports it's possible that as the boy fell, the walls were disturbed, meaning dirt may be covering him.

The Guardian reports that rescuers on the scene near the town of Totalan have removed nearly a foot of earth from the shaft, but it's not clear how deep the "blockage" is, per a rep for the Malaga Guardia Civil. "We're going to try to clear the earth with a truck-mounted machine and try to dig a parallel tunnel, but to do that, we need to shore up the shaft to reach the boy," he said. The hole was reportedly made about a month ago during a water prospection project, reports the AP. Accounts differ as to why the hole was open: The AP reports the well hadn't been covered; the Local says the cover was present but nearby, rather than atop the hole. Spanish media reports the family has been through tragedy before: Two years ago, the couple's 3-year-old died of a heart attack. (Read more rescue stories.)

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