All 12 boys and their football coach have been found alive after nine days missing in caves in Thailand, the regional governor says.
All 13 are safe, the governor confirmed, speaking after a mammoth search operation in the Tham Luang caves in Chiang Rai.
Rescuers had hoped they would find safety from flooding on a mound in an underground chamber.
The group’s plight gripped the country and led to an outpouring of support.
Rising water and mud had impeded the search by divers.
The boys aged 11 to 16 and their coach went to explore the Tham Luang caves on 23 June.
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Who are the group in the cave?
- The 12 boys are members of the Moo Pa – or Wild Boar – football team.
- Their 25-year-old assistant coach, Ekkapol Janthawong, is known to have occasionally brought them out on day trips – including a trip to the same cave two years ago.
- The youngest member, Chanin “Titan” Wibrunrungrueang, is 11 – he started playing football aged seven.
- Duangpet “Dom” Promtep, 13, is the team captain and said to be the motivator of the group.
- The club’s head coach Nopparat Kantawong who did not join the group on their excursion, says he believes the boys, who dream of becoming professional football players in the future, will stick together.
- “I believe they won’t abandon each other,” he told media outlets. “They will take care of each other.”
Missing Thai boys ‘found alive’ in caves