Families of missing children hold vigil at cave
Relatives of the 12 children and their football coach, who have been trapped for five days in a flooded cave in Thailand’s northern province of Chiang Rai continued their vigil from tents outside the cave on Thursday as they waited to hear the latest updates in the ongoing rescue mission.
Appearing exhausted and anxious, the families nonetheless said they were hopeful that good news would come soon.
Many spent the time cleaning inside and around the designated tents, while other prepared candles and joss sticks to offer prayers for the safe return of the youths.
Buddhist monk Phra Soravi Raviratthakorn, who won the Thai transgender Miss Tiffany contest in 2009 and has been camping alongside the relatives since Wednesday evening, said he had preached and led the group in prayers for three hours on Wednesday night to keep everyone calm and ensure they didn’t block the ongoing rescue mission in any way. The monk said he would invite the relatives to join prayers again on Thursday to help relieve their anxiety, adding that he intended to stay until the rescue mission found the trapped youths.
The youngsters, aged 11 to 16, members of a local football team and their 25-year-old coach, have been stuck in the flooded Tham Luang cave in Mae Sai district since Saturday.