Rescuers search flooded caves for missing Thai soccer team

  • 6 years ago
CHIANG RAI, THAILAND — Heavy rains and flooding are hampering search and rescue efforts for a young soccer team and their coach, who went missing in northern Thailand.

The Bangkok Post reports that a dozen boys aged 11 to 16 and their 25-year-old soccer coach have been missing since going into Chiang Rai's Tham Luang cave on Saturday, June 22.

The long cave complex has several chambers which have flooded due to rain. Rescue divers found handprints in one area, but have yet to reach a section of dry ground where the boys are believed to be trapped.

High-pressure pumps have been installed inside the cave to drain flooded passages, but persistent rainfall has kept water levels rising.

Workers searching for alternative entryways found a vertical shaft that likely lead into the cave, and dropped food and water in case the team was nearby.

Authorities are also planning to drill new passageways to speed up the hunt for missing soccer players. They remain hopeful that the team will survive since tourists trapped in the cave during past floods were rescued once the waters receded.