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Over 100 ‘chimneys’ drilled into mountain in bid to reach boys inside Thai cave

The team of young football players along with their coach has been trapped inside the Tham Luang cave complex since June 23.

world Updated: Jul 07, 2018 11:14 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Mae Sai, Thailand
Thailand boys rescue,Thailand team trapped in cave,Tham Luang cave
File photo released by Tham Luang Rescue Operation Center, shows the boys and their soccer coach as they were found in a partially flooded cave, in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai, Thailand. (AP Photo)

More than 100 chimneys are being drilled into the mountainside in a frantic bid to reach a Thai youth football team trapped in a cave complex below, the head of the rescue mission said Saturday.

The unprecedented rescue effort is attempting to establish new ways to extract the boys from above, if the underground chambers flood and it is deemed too risky to evacuate the team by diving out through the submerged passageways.

“Some (of the chimneys) are as deep as 400 metres... but they still cannot find their location yet,” Narongsak Osottanakorn told reporters, adding the mission lacked the technology “to pinpoint where they are staying”.

“We estimate that (they) are 600 metres down, but we don’t know the (exact) target,” he said.

On the question of dipping oxygen levels in the cave, he said rescuers had managed to establish a line to pump in fresh air and had also withdrawn non-essential workers from chamber three -- where the rescue base is -- to preserve levels inside the cave.

The “Wild Boar” team have been trapped inside the Tham Luang cave complex for two weeks.

First Published: Jul 07, 2018 11:13 IST