UAE leaders offer condolences on death of Moroccan boy Rayan

Morocco was in shock on Sunday after emergency crews found Rayan dead at the bottom of a well in a tragic end to a painstaking five-day rescue operation



AFP
AFP

By Web Desk

Published: Sun 6 Feb 2022, 12:54 PM

UAE leaders have offered condolences on the death of Rayan, a five-year-old Moroccan boy who died after being trapped in a well for five days.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, wrote on Twitter: "Our sincere condolences and sympathy to the family of Rayan and to the brotherly Moroccan people and to all humanity that grieved for his loss."

Morocco was in shock on Sunday after emergency crews found Rayan dead at the bottom of a well in a tragic end to a painstaking five-day rescue operation that gripped the nation and the world.

The ordeal of “little Rayan” since he fell down the well on Tuesday afternoon gained global attention and sparked an outpouring of sympathy online, with the Arabic hashtag #SaveRayan trending.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, posted a picture of Rayan on Twitter and Instagram.

Ammar Bin Humaid Alnuaimi, the Crown Prince of Ajman, said on Twitter: "Our deepest condolences and sincere sympathy to all members of the family of the Moroccan child Rayan, and to the brotherly Moroccan people in this painful affliction."

Sheikh Mohammed's daughters, Sheikha Maryam Mohammed Rashid Al Maktoum and Sheikha ‎‏Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, also offered their condolences to Rayan on their social media accounts.

Photo: Sheikha Maryam Mohammed Rashid Al Maktoum/Instagram
Photo: Sheikha Maryam Mohammed Rashid Al Maktoum/Instagram

Throughout the operation to extricate Rayan from the bottom of the 32-metre well shaft, Moroccan authorities had cautioned that they did not know whether he was alive.

And reflecting the emotions provoked by the drama, it was Morocco’s royal cabinet that announced he had been found dead.

“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 court said.

Workers had tried to get oxygen and water down to the child but it was not clear whether he was able to use them, AFP correspondents reported.

“I keep up hope that my child will get out of the well alive,” Rayan’s father had told public television 2M on Friday evening. “I thank everyone involved and those supporting us in Morocco and elsewhere.”

He said earlier in the week that he had been repairing the well when the boy fell in.

The shaft, just 45 centimetres (18 inches) across, was too narrow for the boy to be reached directly, and widening it was deemed too risky - so earth-movers dug a wide slope into the hill to reach him from the side.

The operation made the landscape resemble a construction site, and red-helmeted civil defence personnel had at times been suspended by rope, as if on a cliff face.

Overnight they worked non-stop under powerful floodlights that gave a gloomy air to the scene.

(With inputs from AFP)


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