Search teams seek alternative exits for trapped soccer team

Pauline Gross
July 8, 2018

"Everyone who is not involved with the operations has to get out of the area immediately", police announced via loudspeaker at the site.

Earlier official told the hundreds of journalists gathered at the scene that it is was "necessary to evacuate the area for the rescue operation".

The boys, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach entered the cave to celebrate a birthday.

In this Wednesday, July 4, 2018, file photo, a rescuer makes his way down the entrance to a cave complex where 12 boys and their soccer coach went missing, in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, in northern Thailand. Earlier efforts to pump out water from the cave have been set back every time there has been a heavy downpour.

The Tham Luang Nang Non caves, where the boys are trapped, act as the town's natural drainage basin during this period of heavy rains.

More than 100 exploratory holes have been bored - some shallow, but the longest 400 meters deep - into the mountainside, in an attempt to open a second evacuation route and avoid forcing the boys into a unsafe dive through submerged tunnels.

"We have to make a clear decision on what we can do".

Thai military personnel inside the cave complex.

"If the oxygen level drops lower than 12%, it will affect the brain and the people inside", he said.

"There's also carbon dioxide".

According to the BBC, the highly trained diver ran out of of oxygen during the 11 hour trip in and out of the cave and was unable to be revived by his diving partner.

Written by hand on water-stained graph paper, letters from the 12 boys, coach and divers caring for them were published Saturday morning by the official Facebook page of the Thai Navy SEAL.

Another boy, 13-year-old Sompong "Pong" Jaiwong, put on a fearless face: "Dear Mum and Dad, I love you. I love you Dad, Mom".

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A letter from one of the boys inside the cave.

There are people taking good care of them.

Nattawut "Tle" Takamsai, 14, bravely assured his family that he can take care of himself; while Ekkarat "Bill" Wongsookchan, 14, promised his parents to help them at the shop. "Thank you for your kind support and I would like to say I'm really sorry to you all", he wrote. The rescue team also includes divers and workers from Australia, the United Kingdom, and other parts of Europe and Asia. They want to go straight home. The boys are being given high-protein ready-to-eat meals, similar to army rations. Relatives start to keep a vigil outside the cave.

The death of the Thai diver, Saman Gunan, on Friday underscored the risks of making the underwater journey.

They noted his aunt was waiting for him at the cave's entrance as well.

The group became trapped deep inside the cave after flood waters gushed in. Drones are dispatched to help find new chimneys.

It would be "no problem" they assured us, their friends were more than capable, and besides they have the best divers in the world helping them. The divers have been bringing the team medical supplies and food. Rescuers can now remain underground for longer.

Some of the trapped boys praying in the cave in Tham Luang.

Osottanakorn admitted the rescue mission lacked the technology "to pinpoint where they [the boys] are staying". But attention turns to the hard task of getting the boys out safely.

On the condition of the stranded boys, he said: "They have been given high-protein, high-energy food which is not meant to fill their stomachs and some of them are still weak".

Narongsak said the boys were still healthy and have practiced wearing diving masks and breathing in preparation for the diving possibility.

For nearly two weeks, authorities have been pumping water from the caves, 24-hours a day.

The Thai defense ministry said the Musk team should reach the cave on Sunday.

Other reports by GizPress

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