THE THAILAND cave rescue has descended into farce after rescuers accidentally pumped water back into the cavern in which a group of young footballers are trapped.
Local reports say unregistered volunteers wanting to help are actually making matters worse by diverting water right back into the dark cave system where the boys are awaiting rescue.
The young footballers are now said to have been forced to go 600ft further into the cave complex in Chiang Rai amid fears they will have to dive out very soon – possibly before they are properly trained.
Rescuers are still pumping out water but overnight rains mean that the passage nearest to their original ledge is now flooded to its ceiling.
Tham Luang operation commander Narongsak Osatanakorn said unregistered volunteers had been diverting water back into the ground in the belief they were helping.
He said: ‘They may have some belief that their technique is effective for ground water drainage, but anything that is not in the plan must be discussed with us first.’
The magnitude of the problem has now overtaken the initial rejoicing when they were found earlier this week.
Former U.S Navy SEAL Cade Courtley has cautioned there will be fatalities if the boys are forced to dive out.
He said that ‘some of these kids are going to die’ if they are made to swim through the narrow dark tunnels.
The boys have spent the last two days learning to dive and now 13 pieces of equipment are being prepared in case they need to quickly swim for their lives. ‘
What we worry most is the weather,’ Mr Osatanakorn said. ‘We can’t risk having the flood back into the cave.’ – Metro