A five-year-old boy who spent four days trapped in a 32m (105ft) deep well has died, Morocco’s king has said.
Footage from the scene in the north of the country showed workers emerging from a tunnel – dug specifically for the rescue – carrying the child, Rayan Awram, on Saturday evening.
An Associated Press reporter at the scene saw him wrapped in a yellow blanket at his village of Ighara.
Rayan’s aunt Atiqua Awram said: “My heart is aching for him, too much.
“My nephew, my heart aches for him.
“May God be with him, just like how God stood with us.”
Rayan’s cousin Mohamed Saeid sobbed as he said: “I can’t describe how I feel my cousin is gone, what can I say?”
Mohamed Awram, a cousin of Rayan’s father, said: “What can I say? I can’t express my feelings.
“I was happy he was recovered. I can’t express how I feel now.”
King Mohammed VI expressed his condolences to the boy’s parents.
He has been “instructing officials to use all means necessary to dig the boy out of the well and return him alive to his parents”, the royal palace said in a statement.
He also hailed the rescuers and the community for supporting Rayan’s family.
Two government officials said Rayan died before rescuers reached him.
Workers have been digging around the clock since Rayan fell down the well on Tuesday night.
Search crews used five bulldozers to dig a vertical hole parallel to the one he was in before moving horizontally to reach him.
Initially, workers had been able to provide him with oxygen and water using a rope, but the narrow diameter of the hole caused problems.
Efforts were paused on Friday over concerns that the ground surrounding the well could collapse.
On social media, thousands have expressed sympathy, with the hashtag #SaveRayan trending on Twitter for hours across the country.
His mother, Wassima Kharchich, previously told local media: “I pray and beg God that he comes out of that well alive and safe.
“Please God, ease my pain and his, in that hole of dust.”
Credit: Sky News (Photo Credit: Sky News)