MADRID, Spain -- Rescue experts breaking through layers of hard rock are just 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 360-foot-deep borehole 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.
Meanwhile, the boy's parents are clinging to the hope that he's still alive, according to People.
The couple, Jose Rosello and Vicky Garcia, lost their older son, Oliver, in May 2017. He died of a congential heart defect.
Julen's parents told People that they hope Oliver is watching over his little brother from heaven.
“Oliver, don’t forget your brother, Julen,” his mother wrote on social media, according to the news outlet. “You know we’ve been waiting for him for many hours. I know you protect him a lot, my little King...If it’s true that there’s a God up there, help him please. Hold on Julen.”
Jose reportedly said that his wife "is broken" and that they "are dead inside." However, he hopes they have an angel watching over Julen and that officials will rescue his son safely.
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.