Thai cave boys relive ordeal in fake tunnel


The 12 boys who made headlines across the world following their dramatic rescue from a cave in Thailand have relived their ordeal at a Bangkok exhibition.

The boys crawled through a 10-metre replica tunnel in front of crowds who turned out to see them speak at a reproduction of the cave at one of the city’s largest shopping centres.

Far from nervous, the young football team appeared in high spirits as they made their way through the fake cave.

Thailand cave rescue: The "Wild Boars" footballers visit an exhibition featuring their cave rescue earlier this year, in Bangkok, Thailand
Image: The boys were happy to talk about their experience

As well as the murky brown tunnel, the exhibition features underwater robots, dive suits and the simulated sound of dripping water.

The 12 school football players and their coach were trapped in Thailand’s northern Chaing Rai province for more than two weeks after entering the cave at the end of June.

They survived for nine days on water dripping from rocks before they were discovered on a muddy mound by divers.

Their plight inspired Tham Luang’s Incredible Mission: The Global Agenda, the exhibition which documents the rescue operation.

Missing Thai football team and their coach
Image: The boys and their coach made headlines around the world when they went missing
Boys from an under-16 soccer team and their coach wait to be rescued after they were trapped inside a flooded cave in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Image: The first picture of the boys as they were found alive by divers

It comes as thousands of Thais were set to feast in the capital to celebrate the rescue that gripped the world.

The boys will be guests of honour at a government-sponsored dinner to thank those involved in the rescue at Bangkok’s Royal Plaza, a large public square in the heart of city’s old quarter.

Partly sponsored by King Maha Vajiralongkorn, the dinner will cater for 10,000 guests, including foreign divers and cavers, according to the prime minister’s office.

Sky News’ South East Asia correspondent Siobhan Robbins was there to see the boys as they spoke about their ordeal.

In less than two short months since their cave rescue, the Wild Boars football team have become celebrities in Thailand.

Hundreds of people queued to get a glimpse of them as they arrived at the exhibition about their ordeal, and there was a huge round of applause as they appeared and took their places on the stage.

Crowds as the "Wild Boars" soccer team visit an exhibition featuring their cave rescue earlier this year, in Bangkok, Thailand
Image: Crowds cheered as they boys spoke at the event
Thailand cave rescue: Wild Boars football coach Ekapol Chantawong speaks at an exhibition featuring the cave rescue earlier this year, in Bangkok, Thailand
Image: Football coach Ekapol Chantawong has become a monk since the rescue

The boys were all dressed in yellow for the king, their young coach in orange having become a monk since he escaped the Tham Luang cave in July.

They delighted the crowd, talking of their plans for the future. The youngest, 11 year old Titan, sparked laughter when he tried to brush off claims he was looking for a girlfriend (he just wants a friend apparently!).

Proudly, the team posed with pictures from the rescue and then, in a slightly surreal moment, all 12 of the boys proceeded to crawl into a dark, dank replica of the cave they were imprisoned in for more than a fortnight.

Having given it a test run, I can attest to how cramped the narrow tunnel is even for those of us who haven’t been trapped underground.

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But the group of schoolchildren are clearly made of tougher stuff and all came out smiling.

Their second cave trip of the summer thankfully ending in minutes.

From – SkyNews