Dozen youth football players, coach trapped in Thai cave for days

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In this image made from video taken Sunday, June 24, 2018, rescue teams gather at the entrance of a deep cave where a group of boys went missing in Chang Rai, northern Thailand. Officials say multiple attempts to locate the 12 boys and their soccer coach missing in a flooded cave in northern Thailand for nearly two days have failed, but that they will keep trying. (TPBS via AP)

A dozen youth football players and their coach have been trapped in a cave in northern
Thailand for nearly two days after a flash flood blocked their way out, police told dpa Monday.

“A rescue operation is underway. We still haven’t found them yet,” said Komsan Saardluan, chief of Mae Sai police in Chiang Rai province, 1,000 km north of Bangkok.

A SEAL naval unit and a dive rescue team entered Tham Luang – Khun Nam Nang Non Cave early Monday but the 4km passage to the large chamber the group was trapped inside had been blocked by a rising floodwaters, Komsan added.

Twelve boys aged 11 to 15 and their 25-year-old coach were reported missing late Saturday after they failed to return from training in the afternoon.

Police said the boys had come from other parts of the province and had gone sightseeing after their training session.

Rescue workers said they found traces of the boys’ handprints and footprints, together with their backpacks, inside the cave.

Thailand is currently in a rainy season, leading to flash floods in mountainous areas.

dpa