For more than a week, rescue crews have been desperately trying to reach a boys’ soccer team trapped inside a cave in Thailand.
It’s been nine days since the boys, aged 11 to 16, and their coach entered the cave for an afternoon outing, only to become stranded in the dark tunnels by a sudden and continuous downpour.
Rescuers began searching for the team on June 23 after their bicycles were found outside the entrance to the cave in northern Thailand.
Investigators say the boys crawled into the Tham Luang Nang Non Cave through a narrow 15-meter long channel.
Rising waters then blocked the path, which is about as wide as a single person, leaving the group stuck inside the cave network, Kamolchai Kotcha, an official with Thailand’s national parks authority, told CNN.
On Monday, the boys’ families received news they had been praying for all along.
Thai officials confirmed that all 12 boys and their coach were found alive in the cave.
Chiang Rai Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said late Monday that the 13 were being rescued.
`We found them safe. But the operation isn’t over,” he said.