Thai Soccer team boys found alive in cave after 9 days
All 12 boys and their football coach have been found alive after nine days missing in caves in Thailand, in a drama that gripped the nation.
All of them are safe, an official confirmed, speaking after the mammoth search operation in the Tham Luang caves in Chiang Rai.
The challenge now will be to extract the party safely, with rising water and mud impeding access.
Families of the missing group were ecstatic at news of the rescue.
The missing group were discovered by naval special forces, Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osottanakorn said.
Rescuers had hoped they would find safety on a ledge in an underground chamber nicknamed Pattaya Beach but they were found 400 metres (440 yards) away having moved to higher ground to avoid the rising water.
In video posted on Facebook by Thai Navy SEAL, one of the rescuers can be heard speaking in English to the group, as they sit on a ledge above water in a cavern, picked out by torchlight.
“How many of you?” the rescuer, who appears to be English, asks.
The group’s plight has gripped the country and led to an outpouring of support.
The boys aged 11 to 16 and their coach went to explore the caves on 23 June.