The hope of finding Julen alive in a well is tenuous

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The hope of finding the little Julen, fallen into a well in Spain, is thin – JORGE GUERRERO / AFP

The rock slowed the rescuers last Sunday to reach Julen, the boy fell into a 100m deep well seven days ago in Spain, with the faint hope that his body went to sleep to survive. No sign of life has been collected since Julen Rosell, 2, disappeared in a well abandoned on January 13th. He had escaped the surveillance of his father who was preparing a picnic on the hills of Totalan, in the Malaga region of southern Spain.

A camera dropped into the narrow diameter of 25 cm collided with a scree preventing further exploration. Only the bag of sweets that the child held in his hand a few moments before and a handful of hair seemed to confirm that it was in the gallery.

Great efforts made

Despite the passage of time, efforts are still made to find the child. A vertical tunnel drilling rig began on Saturday by digging a parallel shaft. At a depth of 60 meters, the miners will have gone down to dig a horizontal tunnel and reach the artesian well at the height where it is estimated that it could be the child. Their hope is to arrive there on Monday.

But the car, after falling about 40 meters according to the local television channel Canal Sur, hit Sunday with a layer of hard rocks that slows its progress.

"We met five meters of granite," said the president of the Andalusia region, Juanma Moreno, on Sunday.

"From a technical point of view, we do everything that is humanly possible, but circumstances do not help," he said. I hope that tomorrow, Monday, we will have some positive news, but everything will depend on the nature of the terrain. "

Thin chance of survival

The authorities avoid commenting on the chances that the child is still alive.

But the president of the Andalusian Caving Federation, José Antonio Berrocal, told reporters that there were cases where people survived for ten days in circumstances similar to those of Julen, sleeping with a slow heart rate, requires little oxygen

Questioned by the newspaper El PaisIvan Carabaño, pediatrician of the hospital 12-October in Madrid, noted that "under extreme circumstances the human body tries to survive in an unimaginable way".

The cold in the well, he continued, has a double effect. It can have negative consequences "but in this case we all hope the most favorable effect: it also allows to prolong survival, because at low temperature the metabolism of the human being slows down and the tissues are preserved".

Hundreds of rescuers, specialized units of the army and police forces have been mobilized for this unprecedented operation that holds all of Spain in abeyance. The country is all the more affected by the fact that Julen's parents lost in 2017 a three-year-old boy who died of a heart attack, according to reports from the Spanish media.

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