The Defence Ministry has made a special award to the team of miners from Asturias who led efforts to rescue a toddler trapped in a well at Totalán earlier this year.  It said the Asturian Mining Rescue Brigade was being acknowledged for its “meritorious work” during rescues in risky conditions over more than a century in existence.

The team of nine men arrived at Totalán, ten kilometres north of Rincón de la Victoria, in January to assist in a rescue operation after two-year-old Julen Roselló from Málaga became trapped 100 metres below ground.  He had fallen into a narrow borehole, just 25 centimetres in a diameter, which had been drilled in a search for water.  However, after almost a fortnight of intense activity, during which a shaft was bored in parallel to allow workers to reach the boy, he was found to have died.

The owner of the land where the accident took place has been charged with manslaughter by gross negligence.  He is due to appear in court in Málaga on January 21.

The €12,000 award to the the Asturian Mining Rescue Brigade recognizes their work as demonstrating, “exemplary dedication to service, companionship, loyalty and discipline, shared with the Spanish Armed Forces values, which serve as models and encouragement to the whole of society.”

In February, the same brigade was awarded the Medal of Andalucía, described by regional president Juanma Moreno, as, “institutional recognition of the affection and gratitude that is shown by Totalán and Andalucía.”

The €12,000 award to the the Asturian Mining Rescue Brigade recognizes their work as demonstrating, “exemplary dedication to service, companionship, loyalty and discipline, shared with the Spanish Armed Forces values, which serve as models and encouragement to the whole of society.”