FINAL STRETCH: Rescuers are 1.3 metres away from Julen

RACE TO JULEN: Rescuers hope they will be able to reach Julen in the 110-metre borehole he fell down. Photo: @Vio__Let7 and @rsalcedo_

AFTER more than 20 hours of digging by hand, specialist miners have reportedly managed to carve out more than 2.5 metres of the 3.8-metre tunnel needed to reach 2-year-old Julen.

According to Spanish media, experts have been forced to use explosives in addition to the pickaxes they had hoped to employ after finding the underground terrain particularly hard to dig through.

Initial estimates suggested works to the tunnel would be completed some time this evening.

Once finished, rescuers hope they will be able to reach Julen in the 110-metre borehole he fell down on Sunday January 13.

The connecting tunnel, which is being built at the bottom of a 60-metre hole specially drilled for the rescue operation, will take miners diametrically downwards until they reach a depth of 72 metres where they believe Julen may be.

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

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