For 4 long days, the world was captured by a rescue mission being carried out in Morocco’s northern hill town of Chefchaouen in order to save the life of a 5-year-old boy who fell into a 32 metre well whilst playing.
Upon falling, when rescue teams rushed to the scene, Rayan was said to be alive. This initiated a rescue mission that would have the world desperately anticipating the results. Rescue teams decided to dig horizontally to reach Rayan, as the well was less than 42cm wide making it impossible for anyone to attempt saving him by entering the well vertically. Cameras lowered into the well showed cold and scared Rayan to be alive throughout the 4 day mission. Rescue teams continued to dig to enter the well horizontally, however the closer they got to Rayan the slower and more difficult things became with rescue workers aiming to try their utmost hardest to avoid having the well collapse on Rayan.
The people of Chefchaouen came together to the scene in order to show their solidarity and support for Rayan, the rescue teams and the family of Rayan. Throughout, their voices echoed prayers for the young boy to come out alive, the mission was also aired live on Moroccan state TV and social media.
As her and the rest of the family waited in anguish, Wassima Kharchich, the mother of Rayan, spoke to the media saying “I prayed to God and begged him to get him out of the well alive and safe. Please God, ease my pain. I hope the authorities and rescuers manage to save my son,”.
On the evening of Saturday February 5th, Rayan was successfully taken out of the well, with celebrations erupting all around him, this however was short lived following the sudden realisation that he was in fact no longer alive. This heartbreaking end to the mission devastated the world and those around Rayan. Morocco’s King Mohamed VI made an appearance on state television following the death of Rayan offering his condolences to the family of Rayan.