Chiang Rai: Rescuers poised to reach ‘Pattaya Beach’
Rescuers are poised to reach the so-called ‘Pattaya Beach’ chamber in the Tham Luang caves in Chiang Rai province. Efforts continue to locate the young football team missing in the cave complex for over a week.
Despite strenuous efforts, the very difficult conditions have meant the rescuers have not yet been able to make any contact with the 12 missing boys and their football coach stranded deep inside Tham Luang Cave.
Officials said today that divers have now been able to reach a point 400 metres from the third chamber and estimate that their current position is 500 metres away from the ‘Pattaya Beach’ chamber, a location where any survivors are likely to be waiting for rescue.
Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osotthanakorn, said today that efforts continue to be being focused on draining the cave, with the Royal Thai Airforce deploying its C-130 carrier to transport additional essential equipment to the site.
Earlier this morning, members of the medical team on site held a meeting with rescuers. They speculated that survivors would be exhausted and would not be able to join divers on a swim to safety. They resolved to send in food supplies and nurse them back to better health before making the return trip.
Officials also continue to deliver oxygen to those operating inside the cave, while maintaining the water pumps and power generators. Both are currently operating normally.
Meanwhile, the plan to transport the survivors has now evolved into using helicopters as the only mode of transportation.
Officials have laid down a plan, saying the helicopters, which are from both the Royal Thai Police and the Military, will fly to Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital. The flight time is expected to be between 15-30 minutes.
Medical personnel are reportedly on standby at the hospital to receive survivors when extracted from the cave. The hospital has also allocated space for the treatment of the missing 13 on the 8th and 14th floors. Drills have been staged to make sure the actual event proceeds smoothly and safely.
Government Spokesperson Lt. Gen. Sansern Kaewkamnerd has indicated that the PM has stressed that it is important to conduct the transportation safely and plan for unexpected events as part of the search. He expressed his satisfaction with the latest drill, as the transport time has been much improved from the previous trial runs .
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