Boys from the under-16 soccer team trapped inside Tham Luang cave covered in hypothermia blankets react to the camera in Chiang Rai, Thailand, in this still image taken from July 3, 2018 video by Thai Navy Seal. Thai Navy Seal/Handout via REUTERS TV
A group of Chinese professional rescuers is working around-the-clock inside a cave in Thailand’s Chiang Rai Province to rescue the 12 boys and their football coach who have been trapped there for over 10 days.
The six Chinese rescuers were invited by the Thailand-China Culture Promotion Committee for the rescue work two days after the incident happened on June 23, according to the Beijing Pinglan Public Welfare Foundation, the organizer of the Chinese rescue team.
“The Chinese embassy supported this idea. With their mediation and the liaison with the local Chinese community, the Thailand-China Culture Promotion Committee sent us an invitation in which they invited the Chinese rescuers to take part in the rescue work. So under such circumstances, we began to prepare for the rescue work,” said Wang Ke, chairman of the foundation.
The Chinese rescue team arrived at the scene in Chiang Rai on June 29 after one day of preparation and then began the rescue work immediately.
The rescuers are professionals in cave rescue and brought with them special equipment for the mission.
“In addition to the team leader who is in charge of the coordination work, we also sent professional cave divers, cave probers, and submersible operators. The team went there with around 400 kilograms of gears, including cave diving equipment and submersible, which are all private properties of the team members used in their daily trainings and rescue missions,” said Wang.
Each of the Chinese rescuers has been implementing multiple tasks during the operation while working in shifts to aid other rescuers around-the-clock.
“Inside the cave, the Chinese rescuers are responsible for delivering the equipment. For example, the operation needs a large amount of oxygen cylinders, so the Chinese rescuers set up a supply station, and then deliver the cylinders to the divers stop by stop. After the oxygen cylinders are emptied, they replenish them for the divers. We have also provided a number of proposals on the rescue plan,” said Wang.
Wang added that the six Chinese rescuers will be participating in the rescue work until the 13 trapped people are moved out of the cave safely at the request of the Thai authorities. — Reuters