Thai football team found alive in cave after nine days

Thai football team found alive in cave after nine days

Thai football team found alive in cave after nine days

The team, consisting of boys ages 11-16 and their coach, had stopped by Tham Luang-Khun Nam Nang Non Cave, about 620 miles north of Bangkok near the Thai border with Myanmar, after a practice.

Thai schoolchildren and their teachers pray on Monday for classmates who went missing June 23 inside the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Chiang Rai.

They were discovered by two British divers on a ledge in a cavern after a marathon search operation in the Tham Luang caves in Chiang Rai.

"The distance we've got still got to go is probably two to three kilometres", Narongsak Osottanakorn, governor of Chiang Rai province, told reporters. The governor said engineers are continuing to drain the cave network as doctors and nurses contine to check on the health of the boys and the coach. "I am not sure they can eat as they have not eaten for a while".

The condition of the group was not immediately clear after days underground. It would involve bringing food and other supplies to the boys and waiting for water levels to drop, naturally or by pumping out water, or until rescuers can find or create another exit.

Tired relatives have camped out at the cave's entrance for more than a week, desperately waiting for news of the boys, while the head of the Buddhist clergy has urged prayers from a nation fixated on the fate of the group. Experts have said it could be safer to simply supply them where they are for now.

One child asks "what day?" and another says "we are hungry. shall we go outside?"

"Thank you so much", says one of the huddled group. "You have been here 10 days".

A leading American cave rescue expert said many challenges are ahead for the rescue divers.

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The council said many of caves have been explored by British cavers and divers, "bringing with them valuable knowledge of the layout of overseas cave systems".

Divers have been hampered by muddy water rising up in sections of the cave and forcing rescuers to withdraw over safety concerns, according to the AP reports.

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha thanked the global teams and rescuers who helped find the group.

"If you ask me now while we are still assessing all sides then I don't think they will be home soon".

Mr Narongsak held a media briefing early Tuesday, less than 12 hours after he announced to the country the welcome news that divers had located the team members deep inside the Mae Sai district cave complex.

Experts in cave rescues from around the world had gathered at the site.

"The Royal Thai Government and the Thai people are grateful for this support and co-operation, and we all wish the team a safe and speedy recovery", Mr Prayuth's office said.

Australian police and military personnel were deployed Saturday to join other multinational teams, including US military personnel and experts from a British cave exploration club.

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