The 12 boys and their coach went missing in a cave more than a week ago. Thai Navy SEAL video footage showed the emaciated soccer team crammed onto a small section of dry ground in the depths of the cave.
A Thai provincial governor said 12 teenage soccer players and their coach who went missing in a cave more nine days ago were found alive on Monday.
An international search effort, including experts from China, Australia, the US and Britain, had been ongoing since the group went missing inside the Tham Luang Nang Non 10-kilometer (6-mile) underground cave complex.
A video from the Thai Navy SEAL Facebook page has been shared widely on social media and shows the team looking emaciated as they sit on a small wedge of dry ground in the cave.
What we know so far
- Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osottanakorn said “Thai Navy seals have found all 13 with signs of life”
- Thai Navy SEAL video footage showed rescue workers had reached the team who were found in an emaciated state
- A doctor will be sent in to check on them
- The current plan is to drain all the flood water out of the cave before retrieving the team
- Anmar Mirza, the US National Cave Rescue Commission coordinator, said many challenges are ahead for rescue divers
- Mirza said the primary decision is whether to try and evacuate the boys
Prime minister praises ‘tremendous efforts’ of rescue team
Thailand’s prime minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha, thanked international experts and rescuers who helped find the 12 boys and their soccer coach.
The Prime Minister’s Office says Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha “wishes to thank the tremendous efforts of all international units that have come to assist the Thai authorities in rescuing the youth football team that was stuck in the caves in Chiang Rai … we all wish the team a safe and speedy recovery.”
How the 13 became trapped: The boys, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach went missing in the cave when flooding trapped them inside on June 23.
Rescue efforts delayed: Attempts by divers to find the 13 missing were continually hampered by rising water that has filled sections of the cave and forced them to withdraw for safety reasons. When water levels dropped Sunday, the divers went forward with a more methodical approach and deployed a rope line and extra oxygen supplies along the way.
law/kms (AFP, dpa)