Miners drilled into the narrow, 100m-deep borehole from the side to reach the two-year-old boy
Rescuers have found the body of the two-year-old boy who fell into a well in southern Spain almost two weeks ago.
Miners had been drilling day and night to reach Julen Roselló, who became trapped in the 100m-deep (300 feet) borehole, which was only 25 cm (10 inches) wide and blocked with soil.
The complex and heart-wrenching operation, which was beset with technical difficulties and setbacks, has gripped Spain.
But in the early hours of Saturday a spokeswoman from the provincial government of Málaga said that rescue crews had found the boy’s remains. She added that a judicial commission had been set up into the accident.
Julen fell into the borehole on 13 January as his family walked through a private estate in Totalan, Málaga.
The dry waterhole was too narrow for an adult to get into and hardened soil and rock blocked equipment from reaching the spot two-thirds of the way down where the toddler was trapped.
During the nearly two weeks of the ordeal, officials came up with several alternative solutions. A series of small explosions set off since Thursday afternoon, including a fourth one late on Friday, helped the crews make their way through a 3.8m-long horizontal tunnel to the cavity.
Before that tunnel could be dug some 70m underground, a vertical shaft was drilled during days of painstaking engineering to bring miners and rescue experts up and down.
The difficulty of the operation had prompted Jorge Martin, a spokesman with the provincial civil guard, to say: “We have to be very careful, here the mountain is in control.”
Only hair that matched Julen’s DNA was found in the borehole and no other verbal or visual contact had been established with him. Despite that, officials had refused to speculate over whether the boy could have survived so long.
In one of the few media interviews the child’s parents gave before the body was found, father Jose Rosello said the family was “heartbroken” by the long wait but hoping for “a miracle.”
Adding to the family’s tragedy, Spanish media reported that his parents had another young son who died of a heart attack in 2017.
Reuters and Associated Press contributed to this report.