Thailand boys spend eighth night in flooded cave as weather eases

Despite the tireless effort and international assistance, there has been no contact with the group since they were reported missing.

Published: 01st July 2018 11:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st July 2018 11:52 AM   |  A+A-


MAE SAI:Twelve Thai boys and their assistant football coach spent their eighth night trapped in a flooded cave, as a round-the-clock search was aided by better weather today.

Rescue teams attempted to reach deeper into the chambers of Tham Luang cave in the hope of locating the children, aged 11 to 16, and the coach more than a week after they ventured in and were blocked by heavy rains.

Despite the tireless effort and international assistance, there has been no contact with the group since they were reported missing, and monsoon rains have complicated the rescue by blocking passageways.

But an ease in the rough seasonal weather near Thailand's borders with Myanmar and Laos has buoyed hopes that divers will be able to reach deeper into the recesses of Tham Luang's 10-kilometre-long (six-mile) passageway.

"I'm feeling happy like I've never felt in a long time.

Many good signs," the football team's head coach Nopparat Khanthavong, 37, told AFP today.

"The rain has stopped and rescue teams have found potential ways to reroute the waterway," diverting its flow so no more enters the cave, he said.

"The families are feeling much better too."

The desperate search has been beset by downpours that submerged tunnels near the entrance, but Thai Navy SEAL divers reached a T-junction in the cave's depths yesterday -- just two or three kilometres from where the boys are believed to be.

Some divers have put out a call for oxygen tank donations to help replenish their stock and make the operation more fluid.

"Because the diving distance is about two to three kilometres, we need divers to plant (oxygen tanks) sporadically to provide them with air to breathe from time to time until they reach the destination," diver Narinthorn Na Bangchang , who is assisting the effort, told AFP yesterday.

The dramatic wait has transfixed Thailand, dominating front pages of newspapers and grabbing international headlines.

Teams of foreign experts from Australia, England, Japan and China, including more than 30 US military personnel, have descended on the remote mountainous site to join some 1,000 Thai rescuers.

Outside the main entrance other searchers were trying to find a way into the cave through two separate chimneys, and rescue personnel conducted mock operations in case they should find the boys and need to rush them to hospital.

Large water pumps were also installed in a nearby village to drain water from the area.

Tham Luang is one one of Thailand's longest and toughest caves to navigate.

Officials said the boys know the site well and have visited many times before, buoying hopes that they may have found an airy passage to seek shelter in.

Rescuers found footprints and handprints in a chamber earlier in the week, further in from where they had found the kids' football boots, backpacks and bicycles.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp