fbpx
News

Thai Youth Soccer Team Live Hospital To Address Media [Video]

The 12 boys and their soccer coach rescued from a flooded cave in Thailand left a hospital on Wednesday to make their first public appearance at a nationally-broadcast news conference in the northern province of Chiang Rai.

Vans painted in silver and pink drove the boys, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach, out of the hospital where they have stayed since last week’s international effort to extricate them from a flooded cave complex where they had been trapped.

“The boys have left. The vans are leaving,” said a Reuters witness, as the boys, wearing T-shirts emblazoned with a red graphic of a wild boar with backpacks slung over their shoulders, ran a gauntlet of media cameras to get into the vans.

The government has allotted a 45-minute slot for the conference on its “Thailand Moves Forward” program, which will be televised live on dozens of channels around 6 p.m. (1100 GMT)

The boys, their coach and some rescuers will be asked a series of questions submitted by journalists in advance, officials said.

“We don’t know what wounds the kids are carrying in their hearts,” said justice ministry official Tawatchai Thaikaew, who asked for the boys’ privacy to be respected after the discharge, for fear that media attention could affect their mental health.

“The media know the children are in a difficult situation, they have overcome peril and if you ask risky questions then it could break the law,” he told reporters.

The group had planned to explore the Tham Luang cave complex for about an hour after soccer practice on June 23. But a rainy season downpour flooded the tunnels, trapping them.

Two British divers found them on July 2, squatting on a mound in a chamber several kilometers inside the complex. All were brought to safety during the three-day rescue, organized by Thai navy SEALs and a global team of cave-diving experts.

Some Thai television personalities joked that the boys’ appearance would boost ratings for an otherwise dull show that usually features discussions of the military government’s performance.

“This is the story all Thais want to hear. Don’t switch it off, don’t put it on mute,” joked a presenter of Voice TV, a broadcaster that is often critical of the military government.

“It should help the Thailand Moves Forward show’s ratings shoot through the roof.”

The rescue effort drew global media attention and hundreds of journalists, many of whom left after it wrapped up, but excitement picked up again in the usually sleepy town of Chiang Rai ahead of the boys’ much-anticipated appearance.

“The reporters are back. I had to pick up a Japanese reporter from the airport at 2 a.m.,” said tour operator Manop Netsuwan.

A cartoon of the group with its rescuers, captioned, “Our Heroes”, was displayed on a welcome screen at the airport.

“I pass the hospital where the children are staying every day and I say a prayer to thank Lord Buddha for their return,” said Duang, a noodle vendor, who asked to be identified only by her first name.

King Maha Vajiralongkorn has allowed a party to be held in the Royal Plaza, a public square in Bangkok’s old town, to thank the Thai and foreign participants in the rescue, the government said.

Earlier, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters the celebration would feature a banquet and entertainment, but gave no further details.

This story originally appeared in Reuters.

Image courtesy of Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital and Ministry of Public Health/Reuters.

Join The Discussion

Five Takeaways From President Macron
‘Gilets Jaunes’: Five Takeaways From President Macron [Video]
Six Dead And Dozens Hurt In Nightclub Stampede In Italy
Six Dead And Dozens Hurt In Nightclub Stampede In Italy [Video]
Paris On Lockdown Ahead Of Planned Protests
Paris On Lockdown Ahead Of Planned Protests [Video]
Luxembourg To Become First Country To Make Public Transport Free
Luxembourg To Become First Country To Make Public Transport Free
Worldwide Adoption Keeps Growing, 1,500 Restaurants In Denmark Accept Bitcoin
Worldwide Adoption Keeps Growing, 1,500 Restaurants In Denmark Accept Bitcoin
Half The Crypto Market Eliminated In Less Than A Mont
Half The Crypto Market Eliminated In Less Than A Mont
Singapore Residents Targeted In Crypto Scams, $78,000 Lost
Singapore Residents Targeted In Crypto Scams, $78,000 Lost
Brazilian Mining Company Under Investigation, Says It Can’t Pay Investors
Brazilian Mining Company Under Investigation, Says It Can’t Pay Investors
Visual Trends To Be Aware Of In 2019
Visual Trends To Be Aware Of In 2019 [Infographic]
How To Get Sponsored Posts For Your Blog
How To Get Sponsored Posts For Your Blog
The Advantages YouTube Ads Have Over Facebook Ads
The Advantages YouTube Ads Have Over Facebook Ads [Video]
7 Tools Will Help You Kick Butt In 2019
7 Tools Will Help You Kick Butt In 2019 [Video]
Instagram's Testing Side-Scrolling Feed View, Similar To Stories
Instagram’s Testing Side-Scrolling Feed View, Similar To Stories
The 10 Best Instagram Tools For 2019
The 10 Best Instagram Tools For 2019
Pinterest's Recommendation Algorithms Are Improving
Pinterest’s Recommendation Algorithms Are Improving
YouTube Launches YouTube Stories, Prominent Creators Only
YouTube Launches YouTube Stories, Prominent Creators Only [Video]
Wish You Were Smarter
Wish You Were Smarter? These 4 Brain Hacks Can Help You Get There
Weightlifting Less Than An Hour Per Week Could Increase Your Longevity
Weightlifting Less Than An Hour Per Week Could Increase Your Longevity
Your Environment May Affect Your Eyes More Than You Realize
Your Environment May Affect Your Eyes More Than You Realize
Why Hotels Want You To Stop Instagramming Your Vacation
Why Hotels Want You To Stop Instagramming Your Vacation
Five Takeaways From President Macron
‘Gilets Jaunes’: Five Takeaways From President Macron [Video]
Six Dead And Dozens Hurt In Nightclub Stampede In Italy
Six Dead And Dozens Hurt In Nightclub Stampede In Italy [Video]
Paris On Lockdown Ahead Of Planned Protests
Paris On Lockdown Ahead Of Planned Protests [Video]
The Advantages YouTube Ads Have Over Facebook Ads
The Advantages YouTube Ads Have Over Facebook Ads [Video]