Kids' football team trapped in flooded cave in Thailand

Rescue teams search the Tham Luang caves for 13 members of an under-16 football team.
Rescue teams search the Tham Luang caves for 13 members of an under-16 football team. Photo credit: Reuters

Rescuers are plotting how to get a youth football squad out of a cave system, after they became trapped in it following heavy rain in northern Thailand.

The team, made up of children aged between 11 and 16, got stuck when the entrance to the tourist attraction flooded, leaving them stranded inside.

They had entered the Tham Luang Nang Non cave on Saturday (local time) with their 25-year-old coach, and have not been seen since - though authorities believe they are still alive.

Divers sent into the cave by the Royal Thai Navy discovered foot and handprints on dry soil that hadn't been reached by water, the country's Defence Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan said.

Food and water had been dropped down a tunnel believed to be connected to the cave system. Notes with instructions on them had also been left alongside the supplies.

The Tham Luang Nang Non cave system runs for many kilometres beneath the Chiang Rai province.

It is popular with tourists, but a stream that visitors must cross to get into the cave can flood, making it dangerous and difficult to get out of.

Newshub.