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Drilling to start Thursday night at cave in search for missing footballers

Jun 28. 2018
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By The Nation

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Drilling equipment on Thursday afternoon reached the Tham Luang Cave, where 12 teenage football players and their assistant coach were last seen on Saturday, in preparations for another effort to reach the victims believed to have been stranded inside by flash floods.

“We are now on standby as we wait for the exact spot for the drilling mission,” said Asst Professor Suttisak Soralump, an engineering lecturer at Kasetsart University.

He said equipment prepared was of a “percussion drilling” type. In percussion drilling, a heavy cutting or hammering bit is attached to a rope or cable and then repeatedly lowered to open up a hole. 

“We plan to start drilling from a horizontal angle first to minimise the risks of crumbling,” said Suttisak. “The hole will be between four and five inches wide,” he said. “Then, we will send a camera through the hole to check what is inside the target section,” he said. 

Suttisak expected the drilling operation to start Thursday evening. 

PTT Exploration and Production were using high-quality drones to survey the target areas as of press time. 

“If the drilling does not meet obstacles, it is possible to drill a distance of 100 metres within one day,” Suttisak said. 

 

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