Rescue crews’ efforts to reach a 2-year-old toddler who fell into a deep tunnel on January 13 have slowed down after they ran into a rocky patch and soil blockage over the weekend.
New Straits Times reports rescuers began digging a “vertical shaft parallel” to the 350-feet tunnel in an attempt to reach Julen Rosello, a young boy who fell into the deep borehole while out on a picnic with his family in Totalan, Spain. Crews abandoned initial efforts of rescuing the boy by digging an angled tunnel after repeated landslides. Now, they’ve reached yet another obstacle.
Authorities are not giving up hope in reaching the boy alive. Yet, experts said the chances of finding the boy alive were slim, given the cold weather, which can slow down the toddler’s metabolism.
“The circumstances are not helping,” President of the Regional Government of Andalusia, Juanma Moreno, said. “I hope and trust that tomorrow, Monday, we will have some positive news. But it will depend on the nature of the ground,” he added.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, officials said they thought they would reach Julen by Friday, but the area’s rough terrain has made the task difficult, slowing down rescue efforts to the point where it could take a few more days.
“The terrain’s geology is complicated, and that’s slowing down the works,” lead engineer of the search-and-rescue operation, Angel Garcia said.
The toddler’s parents reportedly told authorities they had “no doubts” that their son fell in the well. DNA hair samples showed “scientific evidence that the minor is there,” according to Malaga province government representative, Maria Gamez.
“It feels like we have been waiting for months,” Julen’s father, Jose Rosello, said on Wednesday. “We are not going to give up … We have the hope that an angel is going to show up for my son to come out alive.”
Washington Post reports that Julen’s parents heard him crying as he fell down the hole, until his voice became distant, and eventually silent. Rescuers sent a small robot into the hole, which retrieved a bag of candy and a cup that Julen had in his hands when he fell, as well as some of the boy’s hair.
Authorities said there is a chance the toddler is still alive if enough oxygen is available.
Julen’s parents lost a child in 2017 when another son, 3 at the time, died due to complications with a congenital heart defect.
The story continues to develop. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Julen Rosello/Facebook]