A DISABLED eight-year-old boy has been found after an enormous search operation involving thermal cameras, helicopters, dogs, police and an army of volunteers.
The boy disappeared on Monday after losing his bearings in Llanera, in Lleida. The efforts of the search and rescue team paid off, and the Catalan Fire Brigade confirmed on Twitter that he was found on Tuesday morning at 10.56.
Head of the Fire Brigade’s emergency operations in Lleida, Jordi Solà, said: “The minor has been found by a volunteer who was participating in the search, and he’s doing well”.
The eight-year-old boy, who has a disability, became lost on Monday while playing in a forest in Llanera, in the municipality of Torà (Lleida).
A call raising the alarm was made at around 3:30 p.m. and local authorities of Solsonès Regional Council reported the disappearance on Twitter.
A search was launched as soon as the alarm was raised, with dozens of volunteers rallying to assist authorities in the search.
Search teams scoured the forest for the boy without luck on Monday afternoon and evening, but the search did not cease overnight as thermal cameras were deployed alongside a team of search dogs.
Up to ten fire brigade crews continued to search the roads where the boy had been last sighted.
The search resumed en masse at dawn on Tuesday. At first light authorities deployed helicopters as well as more search teams, which included volunteers who joined the search.
According to Magí Coscollola, the mayor of Torà, visibility in the area is extremely difficult as a result of the dense forest, he emphasized the complexity of the search operation.
On Tuesday morning Coscollola confirmed to local radio station Ràdio Estel that the child has been safe and sound and without any injuries. She said that he was found in the opposite direction from where he disappeared. She explained that they found him 5 km from his last known location, which would have been a walk more akin to 10 km, because of the unevenness of the terrain which includes dangerous obstacles such as ravines.
Bernat Solé, a local government delegate, confirmed that the boy was quickly reunited with his parents. Solé praised the efforts of the “hundred volunteers who took part” in the search effort.