Thai cave rescue 'nearly ended in disaster' as water pumps failed, divers reveal

The operation to rescue the last of the Thai football team trapped in a flooded cave could have ended in disaster, it has emerged.

Divers have revealed that water pumps that were being used to drain the area failed just hours after the last of the team of 12 boys and their coach was freed.

According to an account given to the Guardian by three Australian divers involved in the mission, rescue workers were reportedly still inside when the pump failed, meaning water levels started to rise.

Success – all 12 boys and their coach were rescued after two weeks trapped in the flooded cave complex (Picture: Getty)

The trio, who were manning a base inside the cave, told the Guardian they heard screaming and saw workers scrambling to reach dry ground from the tunnels.

One, speaking anonymously, told the newspaper: "The screams started coming because the main pumps failed and the water started rising. All these headlights start coming over the hill and the water was coming ... It was noticeably rising."


The remaining 100 workers apparently made it out of the cave within an hour, including the last three Thai navy SEALs and a medic – all who had been with the boys for much of the week between them being found and being freed from the cave.

Celebrations spread across the world as the last of the Wild Boar football team were brought out of the caves following a three-part rescue mission that spread over several days.

Celebrations spread across the world after the last of the boys were successfully rescued (Picture: Getty)

The perilous mission saw the boys having to use scuba masks as they were led through the narrow tunnels to safety.

The first of the rescued boys were due to be reunited with their parents on Wednesday provided they wear protective suits as medics work to rule out any infections.

The footballers – who were invited to attend the World Cup Final by FIFA – have reportedly each lost an average 2kg but are said to be in good health.

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