About 16 months after the spectacular rescue of twelve trapped boys and their trainer, parts of the Tham Luang Cave in Thailand have been reopened to visitors. More than 2,000 people were counted on Friday, National Park Director Kawee Prasompong said.
The reopening was celebrated with a Buddhist ceremony. Groups of 20 people each are admitted, but only in the entrance area and the first chamber of the cave.
A youth team from the local Moo Pah ("boars") group was surprised by rising water masses and cut off from the outside world on 23 June 2018 following a workout in one of the rear cave chambers during the monsoon season.
Only after 17 days could the last of the trapped be rescued. In the action, in which many divers from abroad were involved, one of the rescuers was killed. (Read a chronicle of events here.)
People around the world were feverishly involved in the spectacular rescue. The venue became a tourist attraction. Around one million people had traveled to the cave ever since, but they were not allowed to enter it.