SO CLOSE: Rescuers hit another obstacle in ‘final stages’ of Julen well rescue

RESCUE workers fitting support pipework in a tunnel drilled to reach Julen have hit another blockade, this time at around 50 metres deep.

According to media reports, specialists charged with lowering a large pipe into the 60-metre hole have encountered the same problem as yesterday, with deviations in the hole preventing the pipe fitting correctly.

The pipework is needed to protect workers who will descend the hole in a cage lift to manually dig a 4-metre tunnel connecting them with the well Julen fell down on Sunday January 13.

Before this latest development, Angel Garcia Vidal, the operation’s coordinator, said it could take experts around 24 hours to hand dig the tunnel because of the hardness of the terrain.

Media reports claim complications over a lack of air in the hole dug to reach the boy had already slowed the rescue effort.

Before being forced to postpone their efforts yesterday, experts had been working in one-hour shifts 60-metres below the hill’s surface, digging out soil and rocks on their knees using only pickaxes and some pneumatic tools.

WATCH: Mission continues to try to reach little Julen on 10th day of rescue

JULEN: Rescue mission slowed once again after ‘technical problems’ in tunnel

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