• Photo by Rachanon Intharagsa
  • Photo by Rachanon Intharagsa
  • Rescue workers and associated officials plan a rescue operation for 12 football players and their deputy coach who have gone missing and are believed to be trapped in flooded cave in Chiang Rai province since Saturday.//EPA-EFE

Alarm raised over crowding at cave search site

national June 26, 2018 15:39

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Several rescue teams have travelled to Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district to join efforts to find 12 young footballers and their deputy coach who went missing in the flooded limestone cave at the weekend.



The search of Luang Cave in Tham Luang-Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park is being led by Navy SEAL personnel, who have been joined by teams of experts from universities and ministries.

The latest to arrive on the scene last night were Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda and Tourism Minister Veerasak Kohsurat, accompanied by a pack of reporters.

Television broadcasts revealed the site was crowded and busy. Reporters complained of having to make long treks in search of a cellphone signal to send their stories back to base.

Chiang Rai authorities have closed roads leading to the cave and told people to stay away from the area so rescue attempts won’t be hampered.

Facebook page Kao Sarn Sataranapai (Disaster News) has raised the alarm over potential crowding at the search site. 

It said jammed communication lines could pose additional difficulties for the rescue teams.

Meanwhile the large number of people at the site would generate sanitation challenges and a potential health risk for rescue workers and volunteers. Medical teams at the site might be overloaded treating cases of stomach ache and infection, as rescue teams lacking in preparation battled heavy rain and jungle conditions.    

Another danger flagged up was volunteers who do not have full access to information distributing inaccurate updates on the search that could confuse both relatives of the missing and the public.