Rescuers Still Can't Reach Toddler Trapped in Well

Search is in its third day in Spain
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2019 1:42 PM CST
Rescuers Digging Tunnel to Reach Toddler Who Fell Down Well
Emergency team members look for a boy fell into the 100-meter-deep waterhole in a mountainous area near the town of Totalan in Malaga, Spain, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Marrero)

The search for a toddler who fell down a well in Spain is in its third day Tuesday. Rescuers have so far been unable to reach the 2-year-old boy, whose name has been variously reported as Julen or Yulen; he fell down the 360-foot-deep well, which is only about 10 inches wide, on Sunday and a robotic camera has so far only been able to get 229 feet below the surface, at which point it became too narrow for the camera to continue. Now, emergency workers are attempting a variety of tactics: widening the passage so the camera can go further and digging a tunnel to intersect the well and reach the boy, NBC News reports. A specialist mine rescue team is also heading to the site in Totalán, a town in the southern province of Málaga, where more than 100 rescue workers including firefighters, police, and underwater teams have gathered.

Parents Vicky and Jose Garcia, who already lost a 3-year-old son to a heart attack thought to be linked to a congenital heart condition in 2017, are staying in a tent at the scene and being attended to by trauma experts and psychologists. At its deepest depth, the camera spotted candies and a cup the boy had been carrying when he fell, the Express reports; they were in what the newspaper calls "a blockage" believed to have been created by a "mini-landslide" as the toddler fell, and he is believed to be underneath that blockage. Special equipment has been brought in to suck away the earth so the camera can reach deeper into the well, but care must be taken to prevent an internal collapse. Experts were brought in overnight to install tubing that can help with that. Sky News cites local media that reported the well was not covered; it's unclear whether it was marked. (The boy yelled as he vanished.)

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