More than 100 firefighters and emergency workers are desperately trying to save a two-year-old boy who fell down a 360-foot well in southern Spain.
Yulen Garcia was picnicking with his parents Vicky and Jose on the mountainside of Totola, Spain near Malaga on Sunday when he wandered away and fell into the uncovered hole, which is only 10 inches wide.
Rescue crews were only able to send a robotic camera about 200 feet into the hole until it became too narrow to go any further, where they spotted a bag of candy the toddler was carrying, but did not see him. He reportedly screamed as he fell down the well, but has not been heard since.
Rescuers are attempting to dig an adjacent tunnel that would intersect with the well that is wide enough to travel down and retrieve the young boy, according to Maria Gamez, a Málaga government official. The effort is being described as incredibly challenging because they do not want to risk jeopardizing the well's structure and causing a mudslide.
“No one is technically prepared to rescue someone from such a narrow hole, but the technology exists to get into places as narrow and deep as this, and everything is being considered,” Gámez said, according to The Guardian. “It’s not just about getting down there, it’s also about keeping the hole open so that the rescue can happen,” she continued.
As efforts continue, it's a race against the clock because the boy has already been submerged for 48 hours. Rescuers fear Yulen may be stuck in sand and water at the bottom of the well, which is as deep as the Statue of Liberty is tall. There is no indication of whether or not he's still alive.
Yulen's frantic parents have reportedly been treated by trauma psychologists while they await their son's fate at the well.
Bernardo Molto, a spokesperson for the Malaga Guardia Civil, provided an update on the rescue efforts.
“So far, what we’ve managed to do is drill into that blockage a bit,” he said. “We’re going to try to clear the earth with a truck-mounted machine and try to dig a parallel tunnel, but to do that, we need to shore up the shaft to reach the boy.”
Spanish officials have reportedly reached out to the United States-based construction technology company Caterpillar for assistance.