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Rescuers work to free boy trapped in Moroccan well for 3 days

Rescuers work to free boy trapped in Moroccan well for 3 days
Rescue operations are underway Friday by Moroccan authorities and firefighters to get 5-year-old Rayan out of a well into which he fell some two days earlier in the region of Chefchaouen near the city of Bab Berred, Morocco. Photo by Jalal Morchidi/EPA-EFE

Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Rescuers worked Friday to free a 5-year-old boy trapped more than 100 feet underground in a dry well for three days, officials said.

The boy, identified only as Rayan, fell into the well Tuesday afternoon in the village of Ighran in Chefchaouen province in the northern part of the country. His mother told Al-Aoula TV said she found him in the well after hearing him crying, according to CNN.

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Rescuers have been able to lower oxygen, food and water down the well to the boy, as well as a video camera to monitor his condition. The footage has been shared online, showing the young boy curled on his side, breathing heavily.

"He was moving, and drank a little bit of water," his father, who was unnamed, told Al-Aloula. "I believe he will be OK, God help him."

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At a foot-and-a-half wide, the well is too narrow for anyone to be lowered down into it to grab the child. The Washington Post reported other children in the village have offered to be lowered into the well to help pull him out.

Workers initially dug an 82-foot-deep vertical hole alongside the well, but on Friday they began digging a horizontal tunnel toward the well. They're worried that aggressive digging near the site will cause the walls of the well to collapse in on the boy.

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"We will do the impossible to bring little Rayan back to his family safe and sound," one of the rescuers, Abdelhadi Tamarani, told local TV channel 2M, according to the Post.

A medical helicopter and health officials were on standby at the site to assist the boy once he's pulled out of the well.

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