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Rescue Operation in Chiang Rai Hits Snag Due to Lack of Necessary Equipment



CHIANG RAI – Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osotthanakorn went to Thamluang-Khunnam Nang non park in Mae Sai district to supervise the search and rescue operations to help 11 footballers and one coach trapped inside the flooded cave since Saturday night.

The cave which is about three kilometers long was reported to be flooded with swollen water from a creek following heavy rains on Saturday.

The 12 members of the Tam Pong Pha football club are believed to be still alive and trapped inside the innermost part of the cave where it is believed to be not flooded.

Members of the police, the military, rescue units and foreign volunteers who are specialized in cave diving have been mobilized to rescue the trapped victims. But the rescue operation has hit a snag due to a shortage of necessary equipment.

The footballers of Tam Pong Pha and their coach went into the cave on Saturday after they finished their training.

They left 11 bicycles and one motorbike at the entrance of the cave.

However, while they were inside the cave, heavy rains struck the park, causing a creek to swell and flood the cave, trapping them inside where it is believed to be not flooded.

The 22-strong rescue team, equipped with scuba-diving gear, called off the search at 3.40am.

After they resumed the search on Sunday morning, a source in the rescue unit claimed the group had been found but they could not come out as the water level was unsafe.

Photo’s: LocalNews2010

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