It’s a long and tortuous wait for the parents and relatives of 12 boys trapped inside a cave in Thailand. Circumstances in the area are diminishing hope the group will be found alive.
CGTN’s Tony Cheng reports.
Kham Chantawong is the aunt of Aek, the 25-year-old coach who took the boys into the cave. She said he’d only been inside once in the last few years, but she was sure he would do anything to protect the boys.
“He took very good care of the kids. They all got on very well together. The children never fought or even cursed at each other,” she said.
The rescue site has been swarming with people. The plight of the 13 has attracted huge attention in Thailand and around the world, but the conditions aren’t helping the cause.
An enormous number of people have been drafted into the main command and control center. Army, military and civilian search and rescue teams have all joined forces.
Rain has been coming down heavily in the region, and the whole area is swathed in mud. The water level outside the caves has risen fast, making circumstances difficult and dangerous.
More search and rescue teams went into the caves on Tuesday, fully equipped to dive in what is now deep water. But apart from an abandoned phone and pair of shoes, there have been no signs of life.
British cave expert Vern Unsworth knows the cave well, and has been advising the rescue teams. He’s already been inside twice.
“If they’re in the right place, they can survive for 5-6 days. But the water now, the floodwater, is getting higher and higher, so there will be a point in time where even this cave here, the entrance will close,” Unsworth said.
There’s been a desperate attempt further down the mountain to pump water out of a lake. This could help drain the caves of water. But in the heavy rain, it’s had little impact. As day four drew to a close, the army sent in an extra thousand troops to support the rescue efforts.