Whilst the rescue mission to reach the toddler in Totalán continues into its tenth day, police investigations show that the bore hole was drilled illegally.
The provincial courts in Málaga have ordered a full investigation into the origin of the bore hole and the circumstances under which the child managed to fall into it.
It appears that neither the drilling company nor the landowner had obtained a licence to carry out the drilling. Neither does it appear that the latter had obtained a building licence for later work in the area; earth levelling to prepare the ground for a building. During the earth-levelling work the stone that covered the bore hole was pushed to one side, out of the way.
The bore hole was drilled on the 18th of December. After that, heavy machinery was used to eat into the hillside in order to create a flat area, 35 metres by five, on which to build a house. The Guardia Civil, by the way, has also tracked down the construction company that levelled this area.
The owner of the land wanted to build a retaining wall to shore up the vertical cut into the hillside but the stone covering the bore hole was in the way, so it was pushed out of the way.
Julen had been sitting next to the hole eating a pack of crisps whilst the father was a couple of metres away cooking a paella. In the time that the father was distracted, trying to manage the cooking stove, the boy walked over to the hole, which was out of sight for the father, and fell into it.
Both the man who drilled the hole and the landowner are blaming each other for the lack of necessary paperwork – both say that the other party had confirmed that they had acquired the necessary licence.
Whilst the Guardia Civil believe the drilling-company operator had placed a large stone over the hole, they consider that this was insufficient as the bore hole should have been sealed with something more permanent; something that couldn’t be pushed to one side.
In the meantime, rescue workers managed to bore a parallel, vertical tunnel to the original shaft, reaching 60 metres down, but when they tried to put the metal tubing into the hole as a liner, they found that there was a kink in the new shaft and the tubing could not get past it. They immediately decided to fill the new tunnel (50 cm wide) in with fine sand and then drill down again using a wider bore.
There is an 8-man team belong to a mining-rescue team who will be working in pairs doing 4-hour shifts to dig, by hand, the shaft connecting the two bore holes. They might have to use micro explosive to loosen the very hard rock separating the two vertical shafts.
(News: Totalán, Costa del Sol, Malaga, Andalucia)