Rescue of Spanish Boy Trapped in Well to Take Few More Days

January 17, 2019 Updated: January 17, 2019

TOTALAN, Spain—Rescue workers will need at least two more days to reach a 2-year-old boy who has been trapped in a deep well in southern Spain since Jan. 13, a mining expert taking part in the effort said Jan. 17.

Officials said they aren’t losing hope of finding the boy alive. Rescuers are digging tunnels to reach the child in the well, which is just 10 inches wide and 328 feet deep.

“The most important here is to be able to get close to the boy, either horizontally or vertically, in order to start the mining work to reach the place where the boy is at the moment,” mining engineer Juan Escobar told reporters at the site in Totalan, Malaga. “It is very complicated [to complete] in less than two days.”

Among debris pulled out of the well, rescuers on Jan. 16 found hair that DNA tests confirmed belonged to the child, although no signs of life have been detected.

“We will not stop until we’ve rescued the child. We’re confident that we can rescue him alive,” a government official in Malaga told reporters gathered at the site.

The rescue of the boy, who tumbled into the well as his family walked through a private estate in Totalan, has drawn huge media attention in Spain; the whole country is holding its breath. The boy’s parents lived through another family tragedy in 2017 when another son died of a heart attack at the age of 3.

Residents gathered nearby for a vigil to support the family, many holding homemade placards reading, “All of Spain is with you.”

The boy’s father told reporters Jan. 16 that the family isn’t giving up hope. “We have the hope that an angel is going to show up for my son to come out alive,” he said.