All twelve boys and their coach who were missing for nine days after being trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand have been found alive, a regional governor said.
Narongsak Osatanakorn, the Chiang Rai governor, broke the news of their rescue on Monday, delighting a nation which has anxiously followed every twist and turn of the dramatic effort to save them.
“We found them safe. But the operation isn’t over … We will take care of them until they can move,” Osottanakorn told reporters, who broke into spontaneous applause and cheering.
“We will bring food to them and a doctor who can dive. I am not sure they can eat as they have not eaten for a while.”
The rescue teams are making preparations for a final push to bring the team and their coach out of the cave.
Divers searching for the team had been hampered repeatedly by rising rainwater that filled sections of the cave and forced them to withdraw for safety reasons.
When water levels dropped on Sunday, the divers were able to move forward with a more methodical approach, deploying a rope line and extra oxygen supplies along the way.
Other efforts focused on finding shafts on the mountainside that might serve as a back door to the blocked-off areas where the missing team was thought to be sheltering.
Authorities also used helicopters to place heavy equipment such as backhoes and drilling machinery on the mountainside.
Source: Al Jazeera News