ITV News Reporter Sam Holder has the latest updates after the tragic confirmation from officials that the boy trapped in a well in northern Morocco has passed away
A five-year-old boy who was rescued on Saturday after being trapped in a 32 metre well in Morocco for four days has died.
An Associated Press reporter at the scene saw the boy wrapped in a yellow blanket after he emerged from a tunnel dug specifically for the rescue.
His parents had been escorted to an ambulance before the boy, named Rayan, emerged.
Morocco's King Mohammed VI expressed his condolences to the child's parents, Khaled Oram and Wassima Khersheesh.
A place statement said the king had been closely following the extensive rescue efforts by locals authorities, with him “instructing officials to use all means necessary to dig the boy out of the well and return him alive to his parents”.
Rayan's father had asked all fellow Moroccans to pray for his son.
On Saturday, experts used a rope to send oxygen and water down to the boy as well as a camera to monitor him, but did not provide information about his condition.
Rayan fell into a 105ft well located outside his home in the village of Ighran in Morocco’s northern Chefchaouen province on Tuesday evening.
He was trapped in a hole too narrow for rescuers to reach safely.
For three days, search crews used bulldozers to dig a parallel ditch. Then on Friday, they started excavating a horizontal tunnel to reach the trapped boy.
Morocco’s MAP news agency said that experts in topographical engineering had been called upon for help.
Work was temporarily halted on Friday because of fears that the soil surrounding the well could collapse on the boy, but later resumed.
Rayan’s distraught parents were joined by hundreds of villagers and others who gathered to watch the rescue operation.
Nationwide, Moroccans took to social media to offer their hopes for the boy’s survival, using the hashtag #SaveRayan which had brought global attention to the rescue efforts.