Specialist machinery has been brought in to “suck” away the earth preventing emergency service responders from confirming Julen is beneath the blockage – thought to have been caused by a mini-landslide as he fell – and is still alive.
Overnight private sector experts began to install tubing in the uncased shaft on land near Totalan a 30-minute drive north-east of Malaga to prevent it collapsing.
Officials admitted Julen’s condition was unknown, with his loved ones clinging to the hope there was water and a pocket of air at the bottom of the well which could be keeping him alive despite a fall which has been described as the equivalent of 30 floors.
The youngster’s parents, whose three-year-old son Oliver died in May 2017 after suffering a heart attack believed to be linked to a congenital heart condition, continued to pray for a miracle from a tent at the scene where they have spent the past 40 hours since their son vanished.
Julen’s fast food restaurant worker mum Vicky Garcia and his jobless dad, named locally as Jose Rosello, told police after they raised the alarm around 2pm on Sunday that he had fallen down the well shaft as they prepared a paella with friends during a family day out in the countryside.
The youngster’s grandmother Reme Garcia said she was confiding in his dead elder brother to protect him from Heaven in an emotional outpouring of grief.
She wrote on social media in a heart-wrenching message to Oliver: “Today all I ask is that your brother comes out now. He needs you.
“Oliver, don’t forget your brother Julen. You know we’ve been waiting for him for many hours. I know you protect him a lot, my little King.”
Early this morning in another post alongside a picture of a baby asleep in the arms of an adult, she added: “If it’s true that there’s a God up there, help him please. Hold on Julen.”
She also joined the little boy’s mum in criticising an expert well-digger who claimed yesterday it was “almost impossible” the youngster was in the well.
Francisco Barranquero, the owner of a Malaga-based prospection firm, appeared to cast doubt on his parents’ version of events by telling a Spanish news website: “I think it’s very unlikely that little boy is there. Almost impossible. Either that or the search is not being done properly.”
Insisting the shaft would not consist of a completely vertical drop and would include small deviations, he added: “I’ve managed to recover hammers that have fallen down such small holes.
“Is it possible that a baby wouldn’t end up getting stuck and might have reached the bottom? I say that’s very difficult.”
Julen’s angry grandmother raged: “What s##t are you saying about my grandson? You have no feelings. All I ask is that you don’t go to the spot where my daughter and family are.”
The youngster’s mum took time out of her 24/7 vigil near the spot where the boy was last seen to repeat what they had told police about hearing the boy cry when he first fell by adding: “Shut up Francisco. You are the least appropriate person to be speaking about this.
“I heard my son cry and his father was talking to him and he heard him and cried again and now we can’t hear him anymore.”
Police have insisted their efforts are “100 percent” focused on trying to locate and rescue Julen in the well, despite claims by Spanish news website El Confidencial Civil Guard investigators were working on a reconstruction of his fall “to contemplate all options.”
This morning’s work was geared towards continuing to try to remove the blockage 250ft down the well while shoring up the shaft.
Two other options have also been considered, although neither has yet been launched.
One involves creating another wider hole running parallel to the existing well which would be made slighter deeper and link to the first hole in a U-bend.
The other involves excavating a horizontal tunnel an adult could fit into through the hillside to the spot where rescuers hope to eventually locate Julen.
Officials have admitted both options could take at least two days to complete – and they ideally need to discover exactly where the youngster is first.
Local reports have pointed to the land where the drama is unfolding being owned by relatives of the missing boy – with one saying an uncle made the hole to look for water in another tragic twist to the ongoing incident.
Experts have said it is normal for prospections of this kind to take place – but the holes have to be covered up afterwards if nothing is found with a large stone which is usually sealed hermetically to stop anyone from removing it and avoid accidents like Sunday’s.
More than 100 people including police, firemen, Civil Protection workers and private sector experts are involved in the search operation.