Spanish rescuers are drilling a 260-foot long horizontal tunnel into the side of a mountain to reach a toddler who’s been trapped for three days.
It will take workers about 48 hours to complete the drilling, and then they’d have to connect it with the bottom of the well where the 2-year-old boy, named Julen, is located, Diario Sur reported.
Authorities told El Pais rescuers are also working on drilling a vertical tunnel running parallel to the shaft.
Rescue workers have compared the width of the well to “the bottom of a frying pan.” They are lowering a robot, two cameras, and vacuum and air equipment, El Pais reported. About 100 rescuers are working to reach the boy.
Wednesday, authorities found traces of DNA in the soil near the water well, eliminating questions about whether a child could’ve fallen into it. It measures about 10 inches wide and is 360 feet deep.
Officials said there’s one obstacle — an obstruction 256 feet down, apparently caused by earth that caved in when the child fell in Sunday.
Rescue efforts slowed Monday after equipment became stuck in the well. Rescuers, including teams of miners and heavy machine operators, are concerned the well could collapse.
The boy’s father, Jose Rosello, said his family visited the area over the weekend to inaugurate land where a relative is planning to build a home. The boy fell as Rosello was gathering fire wood.
“My cousin, who was closer, followed him and started to cry ‘the child, the child’ as she was afraid he would stumble,” Rosello said.
The father said he immediately pulled stones from the area to prevent them from falling into the well. He also said his wife has been “broken” by the accident. News reports said the family lost another child, a 3-year old boy, to a heart attack in 2017.