MADRID (AP) — The Latest on the operation in Spain to rescue a trapped 2-year-old boy:
Rescue experts breaking through layers of hard rock were centimeters (inches) away late Friday from the space in southern Spain where a 2-year-old boy has been trapped underground for 12 days.
The boy, Julen Rosello, fell down a narrow 110-meter-deep borehole (360-foot) on Jan. 13 while his family was preparing a countryside lunch. He is thought to be about two-thirds of the way down the dry waterhole, stuck behind hardened soil and rock that blocked rescue workers and equipment.
Jorge Martin, a spokesman with the Malaga province Civil Guard, says a fourth controlled explosion was needed to complete the last 45 centimeters of a 3.8-meter-long horizontal tunnel mining experts have been digging since Thursday.
The tunnel is some 70-meters underground, beginning from a vertical shaft drilled over recent days to bring miners and rescue experts up and down in turns.
Spanish authorities say that rescue experts are using explosives to make their way through a 4-meter (13-foot) wall of hard rock to reach the space where a 2-year-old boy has been trapped for 12 days.
The government’s office in the southern province of Malaga says Friday that it took around 16 hours to dig the first half.
The country is holding its breath and following every turn of events in the frantic effort to recover Julen Rosello, who fell down a narrow 110-meter (360-foot) deep borehole on Jan. 13.
A 70-meter parallel shaft has been drilled to carry miners and Civil Guard experts on explosives.
The only sign of the toddler found so far is hair that matched his DNA. Officials have refused to comment on whether the boy could have survived so long.