THE Heartbroken family of a two-year-old boy trapped down a 250ft well for 11 days have prayed for a miracle as rescuers dig the last tunnel to reach him.
Rescuers have completed drilling a wider shaft beside the original well and are now set to dig horizontally in an effort to save the youngster.
The boy fell into the narrow well on the private estate in Totalan, southern Spain on January 13 while he and his parents were out on a picnic.
The horizontal tunnel will be dug by mining experts, who will carry a specially designed capsule to take the child out.
The horizontal tunnel was hoped to be completed on Sunday, but working quickly and without geological surveys, the rescue has faced constant setbacks.
No miner is left in a mine, and Julen is now considered a miner. Whatever may have happened, a miner is always pulled out.
Juan Lopez Escobar, engineer
This final stage is the most dangerous, according to Juan Lopez Escobar, one of the engineers in charge of the operation.
He said: “No miner is left in a mine, and Julen is now considered a miner. Whatever may have happened, a miner is always pulled out.”
So far, the rescue bid has cost £500,000, with the drill used to make the second shaft commandeered from a motorway project.
Members of the Mines Rescue Brigade sent from Asturias (region) have just accessed the vertical well to start excavation.
Alfonso Celis, spokesman for the regional government
There have been no signs of life since the boy, Julen, fell into the well, which has since been blocked by a cave in.
Rescuers were optimistic that the child might be surviving in an air pocket, but as the days have dragged on the chances of a happy ending have grown slim.
Alfonso Celis, a spokesman for the regional government, told the media: “Members of the Mines Rescue Brigade sent from Asturias (region) have just accessed the vertical well to start excavation.
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Miners will work shifts to dig a 4-metre passage with picks and pneumatic hammers from the bottom of the shaft towards the borehole.
The borehole is 250 feet deep and just 10 inches wide, and was dug to explore for water.
Legally the hole should have been filled back in, but the family claim there were only rocks over the hole.
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