Thai cave rescue bid enters day two
A treacherous rescue bid to free a youth football team trapped in a flooded Thai cave entered its second day, with nine of the “Wild Boars” still inside after elite divers guided four out.
Looming rain was one of the main enemies of the operation, threatening to flood the cave complex in mountainous northern Thailand, although a bewildering array of other dangers could also doom the escape plans.
Thais have been fixated on the crisis, hoping desperately for the safe return of the boys and their 25-year-old coach, since they became trapped in the Tham Luang cave complex on June 23 because of rising waters.
They spent nine days unaccounted for inside the cave, before British divers found the emaciated and dishevelled group huddling on a muddy bank above the flooding.
On Sunday four members of the “Wild Boar” team were successfully brought out from the cave, after authorities decided they had to rush ahead with a rescue operation to beat monsoon rains.
They were guided by expert divers who plotted the hours-long escape through more than four kilometres (2.5 miles) of twisting passageways and flooded chambers.
Rescue chief Narongsak Osottanakorn on Sunday said four of the team – affectionately dubbed by Thai social media Wild Boars 1,2,3,4 – were “safe” but released few details about their condition or identities.
He said the extraction effort would likely resume early on Monday.”We’ve been working continuously overnight,” a Chiang Rai government source told AFP on Monday morning, requesting anonymity, and confirming that there had only been a pause of the actual extraction operations.
Authorities continued to refuse to release details about the identities or conditions of the four who had escaped.”Don’t ask these kinds of questions.
Not wise questions to ask,” Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha told reporters in Bangkok on Monday morning when asked about the conditions of the four.
Prayut was scheduled to visit the cave site later on Monday, according to his official schedule.