After a relentless digging operation, rescuers in northern Morocco on Saturday retrieved the body of a 5-year-old boy who had been trapped deep inside a well for five days, the country’s state news agency MAP said.
The child, named Rayan, was officially declared dead shortly after his extraction from the well, according to an official statement.
King Mohammed VI called Rayan’s parents and offered them his condolences, MAP reported, citing the royal court.
The child fell into the 32-metre-deep well near his family home in the village of Ighran in the northern province of Chefchaouen on Tuesday, prompting a frantic rescue operation amid massive media interest.
TV footage broadcast live from the site on Saturday night showed rescuers carrying the boy from a specially dug tunnel into a waiting ambulance.
Earlier efforts to rescue the boy were hampered by the narrow diameter of the dry well and the fragile soil.
The boy’s fate has riveted the North African country and triggered a huge wave of online sympathy.