United States joins search for missing soccer team in Thailand

Thai prime minister visits cave where children's football team trapped

Rain has continued to fall in northern Thailand as attempts to find 12 boys and their soccer coach in a flooded cave grow more desperate.

A USA military team and British cave experts joined the rescue effort for 12 boys and their soccer coach missing for five days inside the cave being flooded by near-constant rains. Most of the families have been camping just outside the Tham Luang cave since the rescue mission was launched on Sunday.

"It is the southwest monsoon and the rainfall continues to come", he said, which further complicates the rescue efforts.

Rescuers also lowered survival kits with food, water, medicine, a map and writing supplies into a narrow crevice.

At least three rescue workers were taken to hospital on Friday after being electrocuted.

The government has urged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Shan State Government Committee to join with Thai authorities and rescue teams in search for the group. "Love between mother, father and child", the monk told anxious relatives.

Trekkers discovered the potential access point in the Pha Mee hills above the Tham Luang Nang Non cave system and are now exploring the possibility that it may connect with the caves below, in which the group is thought to have been trapped for nearly a week.

It is also one of the most hard to navigate because of its narrow passageways and winding series of tunnels.

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The team went missing in the caves on Saturday despite a sign warning visitors that the maze of passages and chambers was prone to flooding.

Divers resumed their underwater search after they were halted because of unsafe fast-running floods on Friday.

The underwater search for 12 children and their football coach trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand was halted as water levels rose amid relentless rainfall on Thursday.

Authorities have warned that the rising water is complicating efforts to supply electricity to the cave, raising the risk of an accident.

Attention turned to what state the boys might be in nearly a week after they first entered the cave following a football practice last weekend. "But the water now, the floodwater, is getting higher and higher, so there will be a point in time where even this cave here, the entrance will close". He said the conditions were "getting hostile", and whether or not the boys were alive "depends where they are".

The boys and coach visited the cave before and know the complex well, officials told local media.

"It's not ideal, but maybe not totally tragic yet", Josh Morris, founder of Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures, told AFP.

Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osotthanakorn said the chimney, discovered during a survey on the mountain, is located on the Mee cliff in the northern section of the cave.

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