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Thursday 13 December 2018

Thai miracle as missing boys found alive after nine days in flooded cave

The missing boys sit on a ledge 6.5km deep in the Tham Luang cave in Thailand
The missing boys sit on a ledge 6.5km deep in the Tham Luang cave in Thailand

Nicola Smith

Twelve Thai boys and their football coach were miraculously found alive yesterday in a cave complex after surviving for nine days cut off by flood waters.

Divers last week joined army rescue workers as they searched the pitch black of the vast Tham Luang cave network in northern Thailand.

Footage of the moment they were found shows the team, dressed in their red strip, looking remarkably calm, if a little emaciated, as they sit on a ledge.

"How many of you," asks one of the divers.

"Thirteen," comes the answer.

"Thirteen? Brilliant!" responds the diver.

Joyful family members celebrate as they view a photo of the missing boys taken by rescue divers
Joyful family members celebrate as they view a photo of the missing boys taken by rescue divers

The diver then tries to explain to the team that they will have to be patient before they can be rescued. "There are two of us. We had to dive," he says. "Many people are coming."

Initial reports suggested the boys were too weak to move immediately and would need medical attention before being extracted along perilous flooded passageways to their anxious families.

At the entrance, a woman, presumably a relative, clutched an iPad showing pictures of some of the boys, with relief and joy spread over own face.

The news was immediately greeted by jubilant cheering from exhausted rescuers who have worked around the clock in treacherous conditions to locate the missing children.

Joyful family members celebrate
Joyful family members celebrate

When word reached the families that the 12 boys, aged between 11 and 16, and their coach, 25, had been found, the Thai government live-streamed the scenes to the nation.

The boys were found 6.5km inside the cave where rescuers had focused their efforts in recent days. The cave is one of Thailand's longest and a major tourist attraction during the dry season. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

 

Telegraph.co.uk

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