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Soldiers, parks team divert water channels flowing into cave, says governor

Jul 04. 2018
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By Natthawat Laping
The Nation

1,532 Viewed

Rescue teams have already diverted water flow from at least two channels before it enters the Tham Luang cave where 13 survivors have been stranded since June 23.

The 12 players from the local Mu Pa Academy Mae Sai football team and their assistant coach were stranded inside the cave by flash floods, which suddenly hit on June 23. The normally is hit by floods from July to November.

“On Tuesday, we found two channels via which water flows into the cave. So, we already diverted their direction of water flow,” said Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osotthanakorn on Wednesday. 

He said the first channel was north of the cave, while the other was in the south. 

“Soldiers have taken action at the northern spot while officials of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation have done the job at the southern spot,” Narongsak said. 

These channels were found to have led water into the T-junction of the cave, which is covered with metres-deep floodwaters. 

At this point, rescue planners are aiming to reduce the floodwater level inside the cave as much as possible in the hope of bringing the victims out before the downpours return and refill the cave.

On Monday night, the 12 young football players of the local football team in Chiang Rai province and their assistant coach were found alive. The footballers are between 11 and 16 years old.

They have been joined in their cave by a team of seven Navy SEAL divers and a military doctor and nurse from the Royal Thai Navy’s underwater and hyperbaric medicine unit. All are expected to on-site until the team has been evacuated.

Dozens of rescuers also remain around the cave. 

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