Firefighters have been blamed for the death of two-year-old Julen Rosello Jimenez who fell down a well in Spain after their probe allegedly smacked his head and even ripped out some of his hair.
Toddler Julen’s death made worldwide headlines after he fell down an uncovered borehole just 25 centimetres (10 inches) in diameter on a day out with his family in the countryside near the town of Totalan in the southern Spanish province of Malaga in the Andalusia region.
The youngster was stuck in the well for 13 days before his body was brought to the surface and the owner of the land where the toddler died, David Serrano, has now taken to the stand after being charged with reckless homicide.
Serrano pleaded not guilty and says he never thought a child could fall down the narrow ‘well’, technically a borehole. The landowner claimed he had placed two concrete bricks at the entrance of the well to try and prevent anyone from stepping in it.
Serrano’s lawyer Antonio Flores presented a report from his architect brother Jesus Maria Flores Vila which claims Julen did not die from the fall but because of the actions of firefighters.
Spanish newspaper El Mundo report that Vila’s research claims that in the first footage of the rescue operation taken by a robot in the well on 13th January it can be seen that the sand plug above the toddler’s head at a depth of around 73 metres (239 feet) is not compact material and could have been caused by the rescue operation itself.
The research goes onto the state that what appears to be the hands and head of the toddler can be seen in the sand plug, with the youngster possibly being killed by an impact from the probe sent to investigate the sand plug.
The reports reads: “It was confirmed that there were 10 violent impacts of the tool that dug at the surface of the plug and it was confirmed that the last four ones penetrated at least 35 centimetres (14 inches) into the plug, which is further than the area where the child’s head was, with a strength of 50 kilograms (110 lbs) in each hit.”
Serrano’s lawyer added: “It is impossible that he could have hit his head as he fell standing straight. The impact of the tool could have caused his trauma causing his death.” He also pointed out that the boy’s parent heard him crying for 30 seconds after the fall.
The report continued: “The fact that after taking out the tool eight of the boy’s hairs were found on it made us wonder what other theory other than the probe hitting the boy could there be to explain his hair being present on it.”
The lawyer has asked for further investigation into the circumstances of the boy’s death.
The head of the Civil Protection unit during the rescue operation, Daniel Alcaide, told local TV programme “Ya es mediodia”, broadcast by Telecinco, that he has doubts about the lawyer’s version of the case.
The case is ongoing.