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American film crew already in Chiang Rai plotting movie

The Thaiger & The Nation

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As the rescue mission around the cave swings into a huge clean up operation, a US film crew has already arrived in Chiang Rai. Two American producers have been sniffing around plotting a movie project about the 12 young Mu Pa Academy footballers and their assistant coach who were trapped in the cave for more than two weeks.

The final five of the group was rescued from the cave yesterday after a marathon, multinational operation that captivated the world. One Navy SEAL did, however, die trying to save the team which became trapped on June 23.

The story has all the elements required for a movie – young innocents, drama, tragedy, heroes, anguished waiting and impoverished back stories. Of course it was always going to made into a film.

According to news.com.au, the American producers are plotting a movie about the boys’ ordeal in anticipation of a global box office hit. Pure Flix films managing partner Michael Scott said: “I see this as a major Hollywood film with A-list stars”.

Scott and co-producer Adam Smith have already conducted preliminary interviews. Scott and Smith also plan to bring in a screenwriter and interview key players from the team of foreign rescuers and Thai Navy SEALS, the trapped footballers and their families and seek exclusive rights to their stories.

Asked if their actions might be seen as insensitive at such a delicate time, Smith said: “There’s going to be other production companies coming in so we have to act pretty quickly.”

Scott, who’s married to a Thai woman and spends three months a year in Thailand, said they were not pressuring people over the interviews.

“I’ve told them: once this has died down let’s really sit down and have a more in-depth interview on what’s really happening,” he said.

SOURCES: The Nation

- The Thaiger & The Nation

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Chiang Rai

British divers reveal more details – VIDEO interview John Volanthen

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Whilst the Mu Pa 13 team, along with some Thai Navy Seals, doctors and psychiatrists have participated in a group interview in Chiang Rai tonight, some of the British divers have related their stories to the British press.

Three of the British divers involved in the extraordinary rescue of 12 boys and their football coach who were trapped inside the flooded Tham Luang cave have revealed more details about the dangerous operation.

Richard Stanton who was one of the first divers to find the boys revealed how he first smelt the boys, adding “then they obviously heard us talking, and we saw our lights, and then they started coming down this slope one by one. They were kind of on this ramp around the corner,” he said.

“It was incredible. I wasn’t convinced that they were all going to be OK. But they were all OK,” he added.

Meanwhile, diver Jason Mallinson played down praise of the divers being heroes.

“We just did what we’re… not trained to do, but what we’ve experienced over the last 25 years – we’re happy that we can use that skill set to go and help people, he said.

Meanwhile, in his only solo interview, British diver John Volanthen, who was the other diver along with Richard Stanton to find the group told the BBC just how “remarkable” the rescue was.

SOURCE: The Nation, BBC

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Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai: 26 injured in tour bus accident

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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File Photo

Thai PBS is reporting that 25 French tourists plus one Thai guide have been injured after a tour bus overturned on a secondary road in Mae Lao district of Chiang Rai province yesterday (Tuesday). The road conditions were reported to be ‘poor’ at the time.

Emergency responders report that most of the tourists sustained bruises and were discharged after given first-aid treatment at Mae Lao district hospital. 4-5 of them were in a serious condition

The accident took place in Ban Huey Sarn Yao in Tambon Dong Mada, Mae Lao district as the tour bus was travelling from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai.

Natthapol Klinchuen, the tour bus driver, who escaped unhurt, waited for the police at the scene of the accident.  He reportedly told the police that he lost control of the bus when it arrived at a curve which was slippery due to rainfall.

The bus then smashed into a kilometre marker and then into roadside bushes before it overturned, said the driver, adding that he did not accelerate the speed nor was there any car trying to overtake his bus which might cause the accident.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Thai PBS

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Chiang Rai

Just one interview – Mu Pa 13 face the media tonight

The Thaiger & The Nation

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The 13 members of the Mu Pa Football Academy, now recovered after their rescue from the Tham Luang caves last week, will sit down for a tightly-controlled media conference this evening.

“After the media conference, which will also be their last, they will return to their homes and try to live a normal life”, said the new Chiang Rai provincial Governor Prachon Pratsakun.

Prachon says the press conference is intended to provide a single opportunity for reporters from around the world to meet and interview the 13 members of the Mu Pa Academy football team, who were rescued earlier this month from depths of the cave in an operation that was watched around the world.

“The players and their families will return to their normal lives after the press conference. To prevent adverse impacts to the boys and their families from too much public attention, they will not speak again to the media.”

“We will allow all survivors to attend the press conference, because people around the world are curious to know the story from their mouths,” he said.

“However, from the discussion with the children and their families, the press conference will be the only official media interview with these children. There will be no more speaking with the press after this meeting, because we want to prevent intrusions to their privacy and being taken advantage of for their fame.”

The Governor warned that anyone who failed to respect the agreement and later intruded on the survivors or their family members could be charged under child protection laws.

Only registered reporters will be allowed to attend the press conference at the Chiang Rai Provincial Administrative Organisation at 6pm today.

Journalists will not be permitted to directly ask questions of the survivors, said the governor. Instead, they must submit their questions to the Provincial Public Relation Office in advance to allow time for psychiatrists to screen them and ensure the questions are appropriate for the young survivors.

Prachon said the measures were meant to prevent inappropriate or sensitive questions being put to the children, which could affect their mental health recovery, considering the trauma they have experienced.

In questions submitted so far by Thai and international media, most wanted to know about the actual events that took place on the first day they ventured into the cave, and what else happened while they were trapped inside the cave.

However, that line of questioning is contrary to a recommendation by the Royal College Of Psychiatrists, which advised against any queries that caused the boys to recall any distressing experiences.

The press conference will be broadcast live through the governmental TV Pool programme “Thailand Move Forward”.

Prachon also said that progress to verify the Thai nationality of three stateless Mu Pa Academy members was being rushed, as all three had previously submitted their nationality verification request before the cave incident.

Nevertheless, he insisted that they will not get special treatment if they fail to meet the required qualifications for Thai nationality.

He also said that the globally renowned rescue operation at Tham Luang cave was a perfect opportunity for Chiang Rai to become a well-known tourist destination.

He revealed a plan to renovate the landscape around the cave to receive large-scale tourist visits, build a museum, and set up safety procedures for visitors to the cave, which “everyone wants to visit because it is now famous”.

STORY: The Nation

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