Trapped Thai teens could be stuck underground for weeks

World Today

THAILAND-ACCIDENT-WEATHER-CHILDREN-CAVEA family member shows a picture believed to have been taken in 2017 of four of the 12 missing boys after hearing the news the group was found, near the Tham Luang cave at the Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in the Mae Sai district on July 2, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA)

Medical personnel are checking their condition of 12 teens and their football coach trapped in a flooded cave Thailand, while rescuers search for a way to get everyone back above ground.

CGTN’s Rian Maelzer reports from Chiang Rai.

The astonishing video and sound of rescuers finding 12 missing boys and their coach, huddled on an elevated mound, will be etched in memories here in Thailand and around the world.

The tortuous efforts of a multinational team of rescuers and divers making their way through tiny, flooded, mud and silt-sodden passageways had succeeded against the odds, bringing joy to a country, the rescuers, and the boys’ families.

“Today is the best day,” Aikarn Wiboonrunreung, a mother of one of the boys, said. “I have been waiting for my son for so many days. I thought he only had a 50 percent chance of survival.”


Workers fix the road leading to Tham Luang cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park following news all members of children’s football team and their coach were alive in the cave in Mae Sai district on July 3, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / Lillian SUWANRUMPHA)

But amid the elation is the realization that there was no easy way to get the 13 out of the cave. Some have suggested that the safest option would be for the boys and their coach to wait until the waters subside, which may not happen for weeks.

They are being taken care of, however, by a doctor and nurse who accompanied the Thai Navy SEALs into the cavern.

Findings the boys was possible because of an international effort with Thai, American, Australian and Chinese rescuers working together. While the weather has allowed for relatively easy operations in the past three days, the conditions may not hold. And despite the massive efforts to pump water out from the complex, many parts remain passable only by divers.

Is time running out for trapped Thai teens?

There was much relief when 12 young soccer players and their coach were found alive deep inside a flooded mountain cave in Thailand. Though there are a few ways they can be rescued, none seem completely safe. And time may be running out.

Geary Schindel on complexities of rescuing trapped Thai teens

Officials in Thailand say it may be weeks before 12 trapped teenagers and their football coach can be rescued from a flooded cave. Workers found all 13 alive after more than a week underground, but conditions are complicating their removal. Geary Schindel, president of the National Speleological Society, discusses with CGTN’s Sean Callebs.