A five-year-old Moroccan boy who was trapped in a well for four days has died, despite painstaking efforts to rescue him.
A royal statement announced his death soon after his removal from the well.
The bid to free the boy, named as Rayan, had gripped the country, with hundreds of people gathered at the well and thousands more following online.
The boy plunged 32m (104ft) through the well’s narrow opening. The rescue had been hampered by fears of a landslide.
“Following the tragic accident which cost the life of the child Rayan Oram, His Majesty King Mohammed VI called the parents of the boy who died after falling down the well,” a statement from the royal palace said.
Footage on Thursday from a camera lowered into the well showed that the boy was alive and conscious, but there had been no update on his condition since then.
The mixture of rocky and sandy soils meant rescuers deemed opening the water well’s narrow shaft to be too dangerous.
Instead, bulldozers were used to cut a huge trench next to the well. Rescuers then started digging horizontally to reach the boy.
On Moroccan social media, the hashtag #SaveRayan has been trending across the country and around the world.
- – BBC