Thai divers were heard screaming from inside the cave shortly after the rescue of 12 young football players and their coach from a flooded cave, it has emerged.
Rescue workers could be heard screaming as they attempted to flee the scene due to a sudden rise in water levels.
The rescue could have ended in tragedy after the pumps draining the water failed soon after the final boy was salvaged.
One diver, who remained anonymous, told the Guardian:
The screams started coming because the main pumps failed and the water started rising.
All these headlights start coming over the hill and the water was coming … it was noticably rising.
A team consisting of Thai divers and aid workers had been working tirelessly to ensure the kids and their coach made it out of the cave in Tham Luang Nang Non, which is located in the northern Thailand province of Chiang Rai.
However divers and rescue workers were still 1.5km inside the cave when the main pump failed, leading to a rapid rise in water levels. One hundred rescuers inside the cave rushed to the exit, including three Thai navy Seals who had spent much time with the trapped boys. Thankfully they escaped the cave less than half an hour later.
The first of the boys were rescued three days ago (July 8) while the ongoing rescue mission saw eight of the footballers out by the end of the second day. Yesterday, (July 11), it was announced the final four boys and their 25-year-old coach had emerged from the cave.
Nineteen Thai divers went into the cave system around 10.08am local time and authorities were confident of getting the remaining five all out at the same time. They also expected the mission to take a few hours less than it had the previous two days.
It is thought all the boys have now seen their families but only through glass while medical checks continue to take place.
Two of the boys were said to have minor lung infections while all others remain healthy. All the boys are being shielded from TV and media in order to protect their mental health.
After all 12 boys and their coach were rescued from the cave, they were taken to a nearby hospital to check for any injuries or illnesses they may have picked up during their two-week ordeal.
The boys’ coach, Ekapol Chanthawong, said he kept them calm through meditation he’d learnt as a trainee monk.
In a letter sent through to the divers, he wrote:
Right now the kids are all fine, the crew are taking good care. I promise I will care for the kids as best as possible.
I want to say thanks for all the support and I want to apologise to the parents.
Chanthawong is now suffering from malnutrition after giving too much of the food in the cave to the boys.
It just goes to show what the human race is capable of in times of dire need and struggle. What these divers did, what Ekapol did, what the boys themselves did, is a demonstration of just how better we work in unison.
The world may seem pretty ugly at the minute, but there’s always going to be the good guys.
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of everyone involved.
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