Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Elon Musk Sends Engineers to Help Soccer Team Trapped in Thailand

Elon Musk Sends Engineers to Help Soccer Team Trapped in Thailand

He wrote that engineers from two of his companies, the aerospace manufacturer SpaceX and the tunnel-construction company Boring Company, were leaving for Thailand on Saturday to offer assistance to the Thai government.

Another engineer was already in the country on holiday and six more are expected to land Sunday, Weerachon Sukhontapatipak, a spokesman for Thailand's military government, said in a Saturday briefing in Bangkok.

The California tunnel company run by Musk is continuing to maintain a presence at the Thai cave where several boys and their soccer coach are awaiting rescue.

Alternative ways to evacuate the 12 stranded boys and their football coach from the Tham Luang cave have emerged, including one suggested by Musk.

The mini-submarine created by SpaceX engineers may not play a role in the crisis it was designed for - the Thai cave rescue drama that's now speeding to a resolution - but it could be a lifesaver for future space missions. He said Boring Co.'s pumps and Tesla battery packs could be useful for removing water from the 6-mile cave.

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Reuters is reporting that at least two boys are out of the cave.

Narongsak says the rescue mission was launched because floodwaters inside the cave are at their most optimal level. On Thursday, a former Thai Navy SEAL fell unconscious while swimming through the cave and could not be revived.

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Short notes scribbled by each schoolboy on smudged, yellowish paper showed both humour and homesickness as they sought to reassure their relatives they were in good spirits. So far, explorers have not been successful with this option.

Narongsak said the four were then taken to a hospital.

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The boys range in age from 11 to 16 years old, and their coach is 25. "They are now at the field hospital near the cave", Tossathep Boonthong, chief of the health department in Chiang Rai in northern Thailand, told Reuters.

Authorities are anxious about a worst-case scenario where heavy downpour for an extended period in the area could lead to complete flooding inside the cave, including the area now occupied by the boys and more than 10 Navy SEAL members.

And when someone asked if it had been "Confirmed to maneuver through even the most narrow passages", he answered "yes".

Musk was sure to share his admiration for the courageous kids trapped in the cave and the team of divers that's been working to rescue them and provide them with oxygen over the past few days.

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