Thai officials clear media as cave rescue seems imminent

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Hundreds of rescuers with equipment continue the rescue operation at the Tham Luang Nang Non cave on July 6.

MAE SAI, Thailand — Thai authorities asked media to leave the area around the entrance of the cave where 12 boys and their soccer coach have been trapped for two weeks, fueling speculation on Sunday morning that a rescue mission could be imminent.

Dozens of divers arrived at the Tham Luang cave on Sunday morning and officials set up more tarpaulin sheets blocking off the divers’ operating area.

Officials declined to comment but a news conference was scheduled for 9 a.m. (10 p.m. ET).

Thai officials said Saturday they are worried that heavy monsoon rain could soon make the job even more difficult and they may need to quickly rescue the boys and the soccer coach from a partially flooded cave by helping them make risky dives to safety.

The boys, ages 11-16, and their 25-year-old became stranded when they went exploring in the cave after a practice game. Monsoon flooding cut off their escape and prevented rescuers from finding them for almost 10 days.

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