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tributes Family of tragic Moroccan boy Rayan who died after being trapped in well say ‘heart is aching’

Rayan fell down the well on Tuesday, but sadly sadly died before rescuers reached him five days later

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An ambulance leaves with the body of five-year-old Rayan after it was retrieved from the well. Picture: AP

An ambulance leaves with the body of five-year-old Rayan after it was retrieved from the well. Picture: AP

An ambulance leaves with the body of five-year-old Rayan after it was retrieved from the well. Picture: AP

The family of a boy who was trapped in a deep well for days have said their “heart is aching” after the five-year-old was confirmed dead.

Rayan Oram had fallen down 32 metres down the shaft in Morocco on Tuesday, before being rescued nearly five days later.

Minutes after an ambulance he had been rushed to left the scene, the royal palace announced the boy had died.

The five-year-old’s aunt, Atiqua Awram, told local media: “My heart is aching for him, too much. My nephew, my heart aches for him.”

She added: “May God be with him, just like how God stood with us.”

Mohamed Saeid, a cousin of Rayan’s, is reported as saying: “I can’t describe how I feel my cousin is gone, what can I say?”

A cousin of the boy’s father, Mohamed Awram, reportedly said: “What can I say? I can’t express my feelings. I was happy he was recovered. I can’t express how I feel now.”

Tributes from around the world have also poured in for the boy following his death.

The French president, Emmanuel Macron, said: “I want to tell the family of the little Rayan and the Moroccan people that we share their pain.”

Pope Francis celebrated the rescue mission and thanked those involved, saying “an entire people worked to save a child”.

Rayan had fallen down a well outside his home in the village of Ighran, which sits in a mountainous area in northern Morocco.

For days, members of the community had gathered along the edges of the well to cheer on rescue workers and volunteers digging to reach the child.

Rescuers retrieved his body on Saturday after having removed much of the adjacent hillside and tunnelling a horizontal passage into the well.

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Earlier that day, the head of the rescue operation said it was not possible to determine his condition.

Government officials said he died before the rescuers reached him.

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