THAI CAVE HORROR RECAPTURED BY AUSSIE REPORTER WHO COVERED IT
Their love was forbidden, but the princess didn’t care and became pregnant. The couple ran away, seeking refuge in a cave. But when the stable-boy went to find food, he was captured by the soldiers and killed. The princess was so distraught, she stabbed herself.
According to the legend, her fallen body became the mountain, her blood the water that flows through the caves during the wet season.
The porous limestone of the mountain allows the frequent drenching monsoons to soak through, eroding underground fissures into cracks, pockets, ledges and caves and creating passages. Inside is a dark and deep netherworld where black crickets burrow under rocks, entirely normal, save for the fact they have no eyes.
The caves are a natural playground for local children — places of daring adventure.
Which is why the Wild Boars came there on June 23 after Saturday morning football practice in their home town of Mae Sae nearby. They were led by their 25-year-old soccer coach Ekapol Chantawong, a quiet, fit, devout Buddhist who had previously been a monk.
He was in charge of the under-13s team, but his regular after-practice excursions to go cycling, swimming or exploring made him popular with players of all ages. The boys adored him, and called him Pee Ek, or Older Brother Ek.
Inside the mountain, the boys were exhausted from digging. They walked back the way they’d come from the blocked T-junction to a chamber and lay down on the sandy slope.
They were hungry and thirsty. They had no water or food with them and had last eaten hours ago at the football pitch. But they were resolute. “At that stage, we were not at all afraid,’ said Coach Ek. “We thought
The Thai football club were all brought out in a daring rescue mission led by Navy SEALS that ended on July 10, 2018
the water would go down by the next day. Before going to sleep, I asked everyone to pray to Lord Buddha. In a low monotone, the boys chanted a prayer before turning off their torches — all except one, which was jammed and wouldn’t turn off”.
Outside, the rescue was being led by Navy SEALS from the Royal Thai Special Warfare Command. The country’s most fearsome warriors, they were supremely fit, highly trained and dedicated to their oftensecret missions.
‘We weren’t bored’, 14-year-old Biw said later. ‘We were too busy digging. We woke up at 6am every day because 16-year-old Tee’s watch had an alarm set for 6am and noon.
On June 23 last year, 12 boys went exploring in Thailand’s Chiang Rai province with their football co and ended up trapped deep inside a cave underneath a mountain.