Tham Luang Cave Complex to Become Historical Park

Bicycles of the 13 footballers and their coach were parked outside the Luang Cave complex in June 2018.

CHIANG RAI — Efforts are underway to turn a cave complex where 13 young footballers and their coach were trapped into a national historical park.

The plan was announced Tuesday in Chiang Rai, though an official said today that works could not start until floodwaters have fully receded from Tham Luang caverns. Attempts to re-explore the cave were halted mid-January due to flooding, Chiang Rai’s Deputy Governor Pasakorn Boonyalak told reporters.

The team exploring the cave was led by British caver Vernon Unsworth, the same man who volunteered in July’s rescue efforts, Pasakorn said.

According to officials, the cabinet approved a plan to designate Tham Luang as a historical park in December, but that the news was only revealed to the press earlier this week.

Pasakorn said over 370 pieces of equipment used during the rescue operation were left inside the caverns – from syringes to oxygen tanks – and that a committee would decide which items would be preserved for display.

At a July news conference held just after all 13 people were saved, the then-governor of Chiang Rai said parts of the cave complex would be turned into a “living museum.”