Morocco was in shock on Sunday, the day after the discovery of the lifeless body of little Rayan, who accidentally fell into a well earlier this week in the village of Ighrane in Morocco, and was found dead despite four days of relentless efforts by the rescuers. Worthy of the strong emotion caused by the tragedy, it was the royal cabinet which announced the death of the five-year-old child late Saturday evening.
“Following the tragic accident that claimed the life of the child Rayan Oram, His Majesty King Mohammed VI called the parents of the deceased, who died after falling into a well,” he said in a statement.
Tributes from around the world
The race against the clock conducted for five days by the rescuers had been followed live all over the world by many Internet users. Saturday evening, tributes poured in on social networks from the Maghreb to Iraq, Yemen, France or the United States, in all languages.
On Twitter, Internet users followed the lives broadcast by various local media live and kept the tag #Rayan in Top Tweets all day Saturday. Many of those who remained hopeful were moved by the announcement of the death of the little boy.
“Rayan’s courage will be remembered and will continue to inspire us. The dedication of the Moroccan people and the rescue workers as well,” wrote AC Milan’s Algerian international Ismaël Bennacer, in a tweet accompanied by a drawing of a child rising in the sky hanging from a heart-shaped balloon in the colors of Morocco. Morocco.
“We had all kept hope that little Rayan would come out of it. All this is so tragic”, also reacted on Twitter the Moroccan-American novelist Laila Lalami, while French President Emmanuel Macron said on Facebook “to the family of little Rayan and to the Moroccan people that we share their pain”.
It took five days for the rescuers to reach the child because they first had to drill a huge deep crevasse and then a horizontal tunnel in order not to collapse the dry well 32 meters deep, narrow and difficult to access. Thousands of sympathizers had rushed as a sign of solidarity and camped on the spot, in this mountainous area of the Rif, at nearly 700 meters above sea level.
In front of the tunnel, loud applause greeted each appearance of the drillers, including the volunteer Ali Sahraoui who dug with his hands in the last meters, a fifty-year-old who became a “hero” on social networks.
Metal barriers had to be placed on Friday to contain the crowd. As the outcome approached, the curious regularly chanted “Allah Akbar” (God is the greatest) or sang religious songs. The hopes of seeing the child come out alive were still present, after a chief rescuer assured Saturday morning to keep “very high hopes” that he was alive. The rescuers had tried to send oxygen and water through tubes and bottles down to Rayan, without certainty that he could use them.
Shortly before 10 p.m. on Saturday, AFP journalists had seen the father and mother, faces defeated, enter a tunnel dug by rescuers and communicating with the well, from which the child was later released. . They came out shortly afterwards and left in an ambulance, without saying a word, the mother riding up front, her eyes lost in space. After a moment of confusion, the crowd, gathered for days, then dispersed in mournful silence. The date of the funeral has not been announced by the family, but according to Muslim tradition it should take place quickly, in principle on Sunday.