Wed. May 18th, 2022

Hundreds of people gathered at the well and many more followed online rescue efforts to rescue five-year-old Rayan Oram.

Rescue efforts to rescue a five-year-old Moroccan boy who fell into a dry pit Tuesday enchanted the world as people followed the arduous five-day operation to reach him.

Cheers over the news that Rayan Oram was finally released on Saturday night soon gave way to grief when she death has been confirmed by local authorities around 22:00 local time (21:00 GMT).

On Twitter, where the hashtag #SaveRayan and its Arabic translation were popular throughout the Arab world, users left messages of sympathy for the boy’s family, as well as praise for the rescuers.

The boy’s mother told Al Jazeera at the scene of the tragedy she had prayed her son would be saved. Mohamed Saeid, Ryan’s cousin, said he had no words to describe the feeling of loss. Atiqua Awram, an aunt, said “my heart aches for him”.

Imad Fahmy, a Red Crescent volunteer, managed to communicate with the child, who responded. “I waited a few minutes and saw that he started using the oxygen,” he said.

Rescue workers were able to feed Rayan and provide him with oxygen through an opening in the well and a camera to monitor his progress.

Attempts to expand the well to reach the boy, however, were fruitless and rescuers preferred to use shovels to strip the earth aside.

King Mohammed VI of Morocco expressed his condolences to Rayan’s parents in a telephone call.

“After the tragic accident that cost the life of the child Rayan Oram, His Majesty King Mohammed VI called the parents of the boy who died after he fell at the well,” reads a statement from the royal court.

Social media footage shows Rayan’s body wrapped in a yellow blanket after being pulled through a tunnel dug for the rescue.

In a Facebook post, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his condolences to the family.

“Tonight I want to tell the family of little Rayan and the Moroccan people that we share their pain,” he said.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, expressed his condolences to Rayan’s family.

“Our deepest condolences and sympathy to the family of the child Rayan and the fraternal Moroccan nation and to all mankind who mourned his loss,” Sheikh Mohammed said on Twitter.

The UAE’s response has drawn criticism from those who have condemned its involvement in the conflict in Yemen, including Mahmoud Refaat, president of the Paris-based European Institute of International Law and International Relations.

Social media influencer Amjad Taha, who heads the British Middle East Center for Studies and Research, said Ryan’s ordeal “united humanity”.

Twitter users also paid tribute to rescuer Ali Sahrawi, a digging expert who dug with his bare hands for hours.

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