Fears for youth football team trapped in Thai cave

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A dozen members of a youth football team have gone missing and are believed to be trapped in a cave in northern Thailand.

A major search and rescue operation is under way in a race against time to find them before the cave floods.

Police said that local authorities, police and rescue workers were working with divers to look for 12 boys aged 11 to 15, as well as their 25-year-old coach.

Relatives have been nervously waiting for news at the scene Fears for youth football team trapped in Thai cave Fears for youth football team trapped in Thai cave skynews thailand rescue 4344990
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Relatives have been nervously waiting for news at the scene

They are believed to have entered the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Chiang Rai province late on Saturday afternoon.

The group became trapped when a heavy rainstorm flooded a stream at the cave’s entrance.

Police chief Komsan Saardluan said parts of the cave, which is an estimated to be four to five miles long, get flooded to a height of up to 5m (16.5ft) during the rainy season, which runs from June to October.

Thai television showed footage of bikes and backpacks left at the cave entrance.

Bikes and backpacks belonging to the footballers were left at the cave's entrance Fears for youth football team trapped in Thai cave Fears for youth football team trapped in Thai cave skynews thailand cave 4344988
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Bikes and backpacks belonging to the footballers were left at the cave’s entrance

ThaiPBS television reported that the team members came from various schools in the province and are thought to have been practising before going to the park where the cave is located.

The search began at about midnight on Saturday after police received a report of a missing child from a mother.

She said her son had not returned from football practice that evening, ThaiPBS reported.

It said that the mother last spoke to her son when he told her in the afternoon that he was with the group visiting a cave.



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