The effort to locate 12 boys and their soccer coach missing in a cave in Thailand for a week has picked up pace, with a break in the rain easing flooding in the system of caverns and more experts from around the world joining the mission. The search effort in the northern province of Chiang Rai has been going slowly, largely because flooding has blocked rescuers from going through chambers to get deeper into the cave, reports the AP. Pumping out water hasn't solved the problem, so increasing effort has been made to find shafts on the outside of the cave that might serve as a back door to the blocked-off areas where the missing may be sheltering.
In a desperate move, officials have dropped into the shafts care packages stuffed with food, beverages, a phone, a flashlight, candles, a lighter, and a map of the cave. Australian police and military personnel were deployed Saturday to join other multinational teams of experts. The AP separately reports those experts include elite Thai navy divers, a US military team, and British cave experts. In a country that has been deeply divided by political strife and remains under military rule following a coup four years ago, the sight of mud-caked soldiers and volunteers working in pouring rain has filled Thais with both pride and a sense of common cause. Students have showed solidarity by sitting in rows to form the number 13—the number of the missing.
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