Gallery: Rescuers Race Against Time to Save Soccer Team Trapped in Thai Cave
Trapped in the cave
A Thai soccer team of 12 boys and their soccer coach were trapped in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave near Chiang Rai, Thailand after monsoon rains came down on June 23. They were found alive on June 30, and experts are now trying to extract them. Here, a rescuer walk between the hoses to drain the cave on July 05, 2018.
Massive search effort
Thai soldiers and police gather near the Tham Luang cave at the Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Chiang Rai province on June 30. Rescue divers reached the soccer team in the flooded cave that day.
Race against time
Thai officers watch the rescue mission near Tham Luang Nang Non cave on June 28. Though the boys and their soccer coach were found safely two days later, experts say they are weak and tired, and the rescuers have struggled to find a way to get the team safely out of the cave.
Thai soldiers carry a hose deep into the Tham Luang cave to pump out water on June 27. While initially rescuers thought they could pump water out of the cave, to allow the boys and their coach to walk out, they now say that may not work as there are hidden sources of water streaming into the flooded cave.
Risky and dangerous mission
Thai officers watch the rescue mission in Tham Luang Nang Non cave on June 28 in Chiang Rai.The rescuers battled heavy rains to find the boys and their soccer coach. Now it is a race against time (and new rain in the forecast for Sunday, July 8) to extract them safely.
Narrow, flooded passageways
An officer carries a map of the area near the cave where a a soccer team went missing. Experts say the boys are at least 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) deep into the cave, and that several passageways between the entrance to the cave and the team are flooded.
Finding escape routes
The Doi Nang Non mountain range where Tham Luang Nang Non cave is located. Rescuers have looked for alternate routes into the cave and have proposed drilling an escape shaft for the boys, but right now the best option for escape seems to be a desperate and risky attempt to dive the boys out of the cave.
Thai Navy Seal dies
Thai soldiers and police officers pay their respects to a plane holding the body of former Thai navy SEAL Saman Gunan (also reported as Kunan), who was working on the rescue mission. Kunan died when he ran out of oxygen on July 6 while trying to place oxygen tanks throughout the cave. His death has lowered morale about the dive extraction.
Rescue operation continues
Military personnel carry equipment for the rescue on July 4 in Chiang Rai, Thailand. While the boys and their soccer coach were in good health, experts now say the oxygen levels in the cave have dropped from 21 percent to 15 percent, likely because so many people are now in the cave, making it more imperative to get the team out soon.
Risky dive plan
Thai rescue workers prepare frogsuits for soldiers at the Tham Luang cave. Rain is forecast for this Sunday (July 8), meaning that the cave could completely flood. Rescuers say they are going forward with an incredibly challenging dive extraction given the risks of the alternative approaches.
A soldier prepares oxygen for the dive rescue operation. Experts will be placing oxygen tanks throughout the miles-long passageways. The most likely rescue will involve a complex and incredibly risky cave diving extraction.
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By Sascha Pare