Twelve members of a boys’ soccer team in Thailand and their coach have been found alive nine days after the group was trapped in a cave in the northern part of the country.
Chiang Rai Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said late Monday that all 13 have been found safe, but the days-long rescue operation isn’t over, according to the Associated Press. Narongsak said rescuers found the team at about 10:30 p.m. local time, but they’re still trying to figure out how to get the group out of the cave, Thai News Agency reported.
Further details were not immediately available.
The boys, who are between the ages of 11 and 16, and their coach disappeared on June 23 after entering the flooded Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Chiang Rai.
Rising and muddy waters showing no signs of receding have stymied rescue efforts by local and foreign agencies over the past few days. According to the AP, rescuers had punched a hole into the side of a mountain to try to drain the water, while others attempted to find alternative routes into the cave.
“There’s not much we can do right now. We have to wait for the water level to decline. [Divers] can’t do anything right now,” Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda said Thursday, the AP reported.
The cave system is at least four miles long and waters can reach 16 feet during the rainy season from June through October, Police Col. Kam Saardluan told the Associated Press.
(c) 2018, The Washington Post · Kristine Phillips