Thailand- Desperate parents led a prayer ceremony outside a flooded cave in northern Thailand where 12 children and their football coach have been trapped for days, as military rescue divers packing food rations resumed their search on Tuesday.
Hundreds of people volunteers and search rescue personal have been mobilised to find the children who went into the Tham Luang cave on Saturday, and got trapped when heavy rains flooded its main entrance.
Parents and family relatives are anxious and have camped out to perform traditional rituals, making offerings and reciting emotional prayers for their children’s safe return.
A father whose son is a young footballer said, ” If asked for all God’s wishes, but I’m certain in my heart that they will survive. They have been inside the cave before.” Other relatives wailed at the cave’s entrance which is near the Laos and Myanmar border. Huge crowds have gathered to bring water and food. “My child, I’m here to get you now,” one crying parent said, while another screamed: “Come home my child!”.
The children, aged between 11 and 16, and according to authorities they believe the group could of gone further deep into the tunnel as monsoon rains fell and flooded the cave, believed to be several kilometres long.
On Monday rescuers found bicycles, football boots and backpacks at the entrance of the site. Divers said they found footprints in one of the cave’s chambers.
Accordinv to an AFP photographer at the scene said that park officials, police and soldiers were called to go on foot, whilst an aerial team was being mobilised to see if they could find another entrance to the cave.
The Navy divers were prepared with oxygen tanks and food rations when they entered the cave early on Tuesday in northern Chiang Rai province as rain continued to fall.
Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda told reporters they were working non stop find the youngsters. “We’re working against time, but we’re not panicking,” he told reporters.
Photo Credit- REUTERS/Stringer