Spanish mine experts trying to save a two-year-old boy who fell down a well have completed a relief shaft and are trying to tunnel across into the youngster.
Rescuers have completed a 300-ft shaft beside the original well and are now set to dig across in an effort to save the youngster.
The boy fell into the narrow well on the private estate in Totalan, southern Spain on January 13.
The rescuers are being lowered to the bottom of the shaft in this cage before beginning the delicate task of tunnelling into the borehole and hopefully finding Julen
Rescuers have spent 11 days sinking a 300-ft shaft beside a bore hole where 2-year-old Julen fell on January 13. It is understood the rescuers are going to use a capsule in the rescue attempt
Julen Rosello, pictured, fell into the bore hole while out with his family near Totalan
The baby fell into this 15-inch wide borehole on the estate on the outskirts of Malaga
So far, the rescue bid has cost £500,000, but authorities are determined to find the young boy and bring him back to the surface.
There have been no signs of life since the boy, Julen, fell into the well, which has since become blocked by earth, raising fears soil has collapsed onto the child.
Alfonso Celis, regional government representative told the media: ‘Members of the Mines Rescue Brigade sent from Asturias (region) have just accessed the vertical well to start excavation … in the search for Julen.
Miners working in rotating shifts will dig a 4-metre passage with picks and pneumatic hammers from the bottom of the shaft towards the borehole, which is 300 feet deep and just 10 inches wide.
Julen’s parents, Jose Rosello and Vicky Garcia, pictured, have been keeping a vigil awaiting news of their missing son
Members of the public have been holding vigils across Spain praying for Julen
Dozens of people have worked in shifts around the clock to rescue Julen from the shaft
Rescuers are now trying to tunnel from the relief shaft into the borehole to find Julen
Members of the rescue team watch their colleagues being lowered to the bottom of the shaft
Children and families have been holding candlelight vigils across Spain in support of the missing boy and of the massive rescue operation, even as hopes of finding him alive have faded with each passing day.
Engineers and miners have worked for 10 days in a row but have run into various technical problems while drilling a shaft parallel to the well.
Juan Lopez Escobar, one of the engineers in charge of the rescue operation said: ‘No miner is left in a mine, and Julen is now considered a miner. Whatever may have happened, a miner is always pulled out.’
He told reporters earlier that digging the horizontal passage would be the most dangerous part of the effort.
El Pais reported that Julen’s parents suffered another tragedy in 2017 when their three-year-old son died suddenly after suffering a cardiac arrest while walking along a beach.