Thai officials have entered day 7 of the search for 12 boys and their soccer coach who are trapped inside a cave. Several international teams have joined rescue efforts, with more on the way. Hope is beginning to fade as the week winds up with no signs of life.
CGTN’s Tony Cheng reports.
British cave-diving experts returned from an initial exploration of Tham Luang cave on Friday. Access to the cave has been limited in recent days after heavy rain. Support for the Thai rescue teams is also coming from U.S. soldiers, who bring vital skills and equipment. Chinese cave-diving experts will also join rescue efforts.
Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha also came to lend his support. There has been criticism that rescue efforts have been badly coordinated, and requests for overseas help came too late. Prime Minister Chan-ocha tried to bring unity to the teams, who’s spirits have noticeably flagged in recent days.
“I think we will succeed. We will succeed because we have faith. Everyone should keep their heads cool, advising one another, helping one another, and talking to one another on things that are helpful. If there are any shortcomings, we have to tell the governor,” the prime minister said.
The pumps were briefly turned back on, clearing water that had pushed the search teams back for the last three days. However, several rescuers were electrocuted, stopping the pumping for the day. Meanwhile, police drones searched the cliffs and thick foliage for access points that could open up to the cave system below.
The greatest obstacle to the relief effort is the groundwater. Drills are attempted to bore through and release it. Bur for all the rescue teams’ efforts, there have still been no signs of life. It’s now seven days since the boys disappeared, and all that’s been found are some backpacks and shoes.
Climbers are exploring the surrounding mountains as divers try to move through the caves with the help of experts from overseas. Thailand officials have vowed not to give up the search, but at this stage, it looks like what’s really needed is a miracle.