By Jintamas Saksornchai and Todd Ruiz
CHIANG RAI — Oxygen tanks are being opened in the chamber where 13 people are trapped by flooding to prevent them from suffocating, the former governor who has led the operation said early Saturday morning.
After meeting for hours with rescue primaries to determine a course of action, Narongsak Osottanakorn announced just after midnight that all plans are being evaluated and the children and coach trapped inside the cave have been stabilized for now.
Swimming out apparently remains the most plausible of a set of bad or stymied options this point.
“They went in from the front so they have to come out from the front,” Narongsak said.
British divers are leading the rescue in the last critical stretch to reaching the 13 boys and their coach.
Here are the highlights, spoken in a mix of Thai and English:
The kids are still healthy, the air still good. Some parents wrote letters to them and they’re being delivered to the kids. I’m not sure if they have read them.
We’re rehearsing every plan we’ve set up. How would it be like in this case. This includes plans from the foreign divers too.
They went in from the front so they have to come out from the front.
We drilled almost 100 shafts, 18 have potential of getting in, but it’s still unlikely that they will reach them.
We used the Chilean mine case as an example. It took 2 months to drill 2 kilometers.
Rain hasn’t affected the water level.
Yesterday we turned off the pump for 12 minutes, and it rose for 10 centimeters
Air is a big problem, even the third chamber has problems.
We’re pumping air into the third chamber and delivering tanks to the kids and opening them to keep them alive.
The British expert insisted the air is still good and the kids are still energetic.
The divers coming here are experts in cave diving, this is kind of the first case in the world and they want to test their skills and help out.
From the junction to the kids, the main rescuers in the mission are the British divers.
Condolences to the volunteer, actually he wasn’t active duty anymore. He must’ve been exhausted.
Doctors and police complained that today, I saw that there’s more press and people are blocking the way. They said it’s inconvenient. We want to ask for your cooperation.
We tried to set the best plan that we can bring them out. We’re afraid of the weather and the oxygen in the cave, but we have to try to set the plan and see which is best.
We have to test the plan, we set up a couple of them, and we have to test them.
We can’t test the plan here.
They’ve already learned how to dive and how to breathe (He won’t say about the progress).
British divers said their health is good. They came out 9pm.
On the parents:
I talk to them every day, if they’d like us to take the kids out, it has to be in the minimum risk.
If there’s heavy rain we will try to bring them out.
We’re pumping water, if it rains, and we still can control the situation we will keep working on the same plan, but if the water level increases out of control, we have to figure another way to bring them out
The problem is how ready they are to dive.
On Elon Musk:
I requested SpaceX to help, because I have a friend there.
Insisting they will not be brought out today.