CHIANG RAI – Deputy Commander of Army Region 3 Maj Gen Chalongchai Chaiyakam, said today that due to forecasts of rain over the next 2-3 days, authorities have indicated they may not wait until the Tham Luang cave 13 are fully ready to be transported out before they begin the operation as they fear further flooding of the cave could complicate the situation.
Maj Gen Chalongchai Chaiyakam, explained that the release of information about the 13 members of Moo Pa Academy youth football team, who went missing in Luang cave of Chiang Rai on June 23, can take up to 11 hours due to Royal Thai Navy SEALs having to relay messages by first traversing the cave for six hours to reach the team and then five hours back to the cave’s entrance.
He nevertheless noted water drainage has progressed significantly and travel to and from the site where the team is trapped will become easier, allowing for the transport of equipment and further searches for ways to extract the 12 boys and their adult coach.
The Royal Thai Navy has prepared 100 oxygen tanks for the rescue operation and is extending a 6,000 meter pipeline into the cave to introduce more oxygen as breathable air in the area harboring the team is now rated at only 15 percent.
Operations both to drain water and provide care to the team have been taking place around the clock. At this stage, the lower water level means that travel between the cave’s caverns two and three can be done on foot.
By Itiporn Lakarnchua