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Clean-up Operation Begin Inside Chiang Rai’s Tham Luang Cave

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CHIANG RAI – Clean-up operation have begun inside Tham Luang Cave in Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai District, nearly six months after the dramatic mission to rescue “Wild Boars” young footballers.

Officials from the Department of National Park, Wild life and Plant Conservation (DNP), the Royal Thai Navy and other agencies taking parts in the rescue mission began initial survey inside the cave complex Thursday morning.

DNP deputy chief Jongklai Worapongsathorn said the six-hour survey helped the team establish a plan to clean up and collect rescue equipment left in the cave since July last year.

British cave expert Vernon Unsworth also joined the team in survey as the cave’s flood level has receded to safe level.

Jongklai said it would take about a month to remove all of the equipment such as electrical wires, air tubes, water pipes and water pumps from the cave.

The DNP planned to consult with experts and geological officials in order to come up with a long-term restoration plan.

The DNP hopes to develop the huge limestone cave network into a tourist destination after the damage inflicted during the rescue operations is repaired. Clear signs warning which parts of the cave are off-limits will be erected to prevent tourists from getting lost in the cave complex, he said.