Whilst not wishing to make this a media fest, there have been developments that should be covered, concerning the family and how the rescue is going.
Firstly, this is the second tragedy to assail the family as the couple lost another child not two years ago owing to a case of sudden death. The couple had been out walking with their two children (Julen, whose life is in danger in the bore shaft, and Oliver, then 3-years old) when Oliver died suddenly of a heart attack, there and then.
Today, over a hundred rescue workers, heavy and specialised equipment are trying to reach Julen despite the time ebbing away and hope along with it. Today, after working through a second night without let up, they have decided to dig a horizontal tunnel; the bore hole is on a steep hillside. The trouble is, and has always been, that the bore hole is not lined so any vibrations could cause further subsidences inside.
As to the question of bore holes, wells or pits being left open and not covered, there is a law forbidding this. The Ley 9/2010 de Aguas para Andalucía clearly states that if the bore holes are not in use then they must be sealed up if it is not in use; i.e., if water is not found then it must be sealed. What normally happens in such cases is that the extracted soil and stones are used to fill it back up, plus any addition soil required.
If the company that made the bore hole does not fill a prospection bore in, the Junta can either force them to or do it themselves and then charge the mining company. However, in this case, it appears that this is not a legal bore hole as the Junta has no record of any licence being requested for it. This is being investigated.
So, this is the situation to date: a double tragedy for a young couple; the decision to bore a horizontal tunnel despite the risk of further subsidence because so much time has already gone by, and the possible illegal origin of the bore hole.
Update 10.35h Wed: according to Triben Perforaciones, (the company made the bore hole) they placed a “stone” on the hole and that they left 5 tonnes of excavated crushed slate/earth around the hole. They also claim they had all the relevant licences to carry out the work. Furthermore, they deduced that somebody else had come along afterwards, removed the stone and the earth mounds in order to dig a trench.
Readers can read our original article from Monday the 14th following this link.
(News: Totalan, Costa del Sol, Malaga, Andalucia)