Thailand′s Tham Luang cave to become museum to showcase boys′ rescue | DW Travel | DW | 12.07.2018
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Thailand's Tham Luang cave to become museum to showcase boys' rescue

A cave complex in Thailand where 12 schoolboys and their soccer coach were trapped for more than two weeks before they were safely brought out will be turned into a museum to showcase the rescue.

Two British divers found the 12 boys and their coach in acavern in the flooded Tham Luang cave system in the northern province of Chiang Rai on Monday last week, nine days after they went missing during an excursion. They were all brought safely following a mission fraught with obstacles that ended late on Tuesday. A Thai rescue diver died last Friday, highlighting the dangers.

"This area will become a living museum, to show how the operation unfolded," the head of rescue mission, Narongsak Osottanakorn, told a news conference. "An interactive data base will be set up" he said. "It will become another major attraction for Thailand."

Thailand Rettungsaktion Tham Luang Höhle (picture-alliance/AP/Thailand Government Spokesman Bureau)

The rescued boys lost weight but generally well after cave ordeal

Thai officials say the fate of the boys and the multinational rescue has put the cave firmly on the map and plans are in place to develop it into a tourist destination. But Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said on Tuesday extra precautions would have be implemented both inside and outside the cave to safeguard tourists.

A guide book describes the relatively unexplored Tham Luangcave as having an "impressive entrance chamber" leading to a marked path and then a series of chambers and boulders.

Villagers say it is known to be prone to flooding and many have urged authorities to post clearer warnings.

Chongklai Worapongsathorn, deputy director-general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, said the cave would be closed from Thursday but did not say for how long. He said plans were in place to "revive" an adjacent national park where hundreds of rescue workers and military personnel set up camp during the search and rescue.

Thailand Rettungsaktion für eine Jungen-Fußballmannschaft in der Tham Luang Höhle (Reuters)

Entrance of the Tham Luang cave complex in the northern province of Chiang Rai

Superstitious Thais have been gripped by a legend about the cave - the full name of which is Tham Luang Nang Non or "cave of the reclining lady". Legend has it that a beautiful princess ran away to the cave with her commoner lover. Her father sent soldiers to kill the lover, prompting the princess to commit suicide. Surrounding mountains took on the shape of her body.

is/ks (reuters)


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