Rescue Teams Are in Search of Young Missing Boys Who Disappeared into Thailand’s Deep Tham Luang Nang Non Caves
The relatives who are around 60 in number are anxiously waiting to hear new updates regarding the missing team.
A 25-year-old coach and young boys between ages 11 to 16 have been missing since Saturday afternoon in Thailand. The 12 young soccer players have reportedly entered the Tham Luang Nang Non cave. Rescue operations are still on in hope of finding the missing young boys along with their coach.
A park officer had located their cycles near the entrance of the Tham Luang Nang Non cave. There was also a pair of soccer shoes. The group seemed to have entered the cave through a narrow 50-foot channel. It’s believed that the team had explored the sight before. The first kilometer into the cave’s entrance, huge limestone formations hang from the ceiling but it is not safe to go any further. For reasons unknown, the group seemed to have crossed the danger zone despite clear warning signs not to enter deeper during rainy season.
Relatives of the family started gathering near the cave entrance as soon as they got the sad news of the missing group. The relatives who are around 60 in number are anxiously waiting to hear new updates regarding the missing team. They’ve been going near the entrance of the cave each day in hope of finding their children safe and sound.
Friends and family are waiting in a makeshift tent camp that was set up by the local government. Mothers and fathers were seen sobbing while waiting in anticipation for some good news regarding their children. One mother was taken to a shrine by friends and relatives where she prayed for her son’s safe return. A group of relatives was also seen praying alongside a Buddhist monk near the Tham Luang Nang Non cave for the group’s safe return.
Divers have been in action continuously except for taking a five-hour pause due to heavy rains on Thursday. The caves are described to be rocky, dark and flooded. Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osatanakorn said that the rescue operations are taking place under risky circumstances and they have to consider the safety of the divers too. Rain forecast for the coming week is threatening further rescue attempts. "We have to consider their safety, too," he told CNN. "Everyone is working hard here, and we are making sure that we are not wasting any (time) here”, the governor said.
The group of missing boys seen with their coach below:
Rescue operations in full swing
A team of U.S. military arrived at the rescue site on Wednesday but they couldn’t enter the cave as it was heavily flooded. The U.S. Military that consists of rescue paratroopers, a survival specialist, and a support personnel are working hand in hand with the Thai rescuers. Well trained British cave divers have also arrived at the site. Trekking teams who are also present are trying to find alternate routes into the cave through rock chimneys though locating potential access points have been difficult on foot. The trekking teams have found a vertical shaft that led into the cave and have dropped food and drinking water in case the missing group is near to the opening.
Incessant rains: blocks to the operations
The heavy rains in the area are described to be “unusual.” A five-hour storm that began on Wednesday has risen the water levels in the cave further. Governor Osatanakorn said “Our teams who were working inside the cave had to withdraw to the mouth of the cave. We just can't fight the (amount of) water." Large water pumps have been used to reduce the high water levels in the cave. Despite the challenges of bad weather, high-risk working conditions and the length of period the boys have been missing, the rescue team still has a hope of finding the youngsters. Sudsakorn Sutham, the father of one missing boy, Prachak, said that he’s certain his son will return because of his son’s athletic skills. He said “I'm so confident, 1 million percent, because my son is strong, he is an athlete. He is a footballer."