Rescue operation launched to help 11 footballers and a coach trapped inside a flooded cave

Rescue workers are trying to rescue a soccer team and their coach who have been trapped inside a flooded cave in Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district since Saturday evening.

It was reported that the 11 footballers of Tambon Pong Pha aged between 13-15 and their coach went inside the Luang Nang Non cave in Tham Luang-Khunnam Nang Non national park after finishing their weekly training.

11 bicycles and a motorbike were found at the mouth of the cave by park officials at about 7 am on Saturday night.  Some backpacks and soccer shoes were found in a few baskets attached to the bicycles.

The park officials then contacted soccer team head in Tambon Pong Pha to the cave to examine the belongings whether they belong to his team’s.  The team chief told the park officials that his boys and the coach went into the cave and could not get out after water from heavy rains flooded the cave entrance, adding that he had sought help from a rescue team from Mae Sai district.

The team arrived at the cave but had to pull back afterward because they didn’t have the diving gears to get into the cave.

The same team returned this morning (Sunday) with their gears to begin their search and rescue mission.