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21:32 19-09-2018
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12 trapped Thai boys and their coach found alive, but now they need to get out of the cave safe
World | society | 09:08, 03 July 2018 | 749

AKIPRESS.COM - After nine days of darkness, the 12 trapped Thai boys and their coach have been found, BBC reported.

Two British divers found all 13 safe on a ledge in a cavern in the Tham Luang cave system in the northern province of Chiang Rai.

But the issue now is to get them all out of the cave, with rising waters and mud hindering access and the trapped group's health a major concern.

"The option to bring them out by diving is the quickest but it's also the most dangerous," Anmar Mirza, national co-ordinator of the US Cave Rescue Commission, told the BBC.

Thai navy divers, three top British cave divers and US military personnel all attempted to find the boys.

In total, more than 1,000 people have been involved in the operation, including teams from China, Myanmar, Laos and Australia.

These skilled professional divers still needed several hours to get to the trapped group from the entrance, through tiny, debris-strewn passages and aided by round-the-clock water pumping efforts to try to clear the flood waters. And these boys are not trained divers.

Authorities have tried to drill holes in the cave walls to help drain some of the flood water - although the thick rock has hampered efforts.

There have also been suggestions that drilling could be another way to get to the boys, and to help them out.

But to even begin the process, new roads would need to be built up above the caves to accommodate the heavy drilling equipment needed to break through the rock.

In a press conference, Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osottanakorn said they would continue to drain water out of the cave while sending doctors and nurses in to check the health of the boys and their coach.

"If the doctors say their physical condition is strong enough to be moved, they will take them out from the cave," he said.

But Mr Mirza says their health is a serious concern. "After nine days without food, you have to watch their food intake," he says.

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