Thai children found in cave – but danger is not over yet

Family members smile after hearing the news that the missing 12 boys and their soccer coach have been found in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, in northern Thailand, Monday, July 2
Family members smile after hearing the news that the missing 12 boys and their soccer coach have been found in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, in northern Thailand, Monday, July 2

Twelve boys and their football coach have been found alive inside a cave in northern Thailand.

Video released by the Thai navy showed the boys in their football kits sitting on a dry area inside the cave above the water as a spotlight, apparently from a rescuer, illuminated their faces.

Chiang Rai provincial governor Narongsak Osatanakorn said the 13 are in the process of being rescued, but warned they are not out of danger yet.

“We found them safe. But the operation isn’t over,” he said.

Family members of the missing hugged each other as they cheered the news.

Rescue divers had spent much of Monday making preparations for a final push to locate the lost footballers – aged 11 to 16 – and their 25-year-old coach.

They disappeared when flooding trapped them after entering the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Chiang Rai on June 23.

“When the medics have evaluated the kids to see if their health is in good condition, we will care for them until they have enough strength to move by themselves, and then we will evaluate the situation on bringing them out again later,” Mr Narongsak said.

In the five-minute navy video footage, the boys are clad in the kits they apparently were wearing on the day they disappeared.

“You are very strong,” one of the rescuers says to them in English. One of them asks what day it is, and the rescuer responds, “Monday. Monday.You have been here 10 days”.