Thailands government has officially reopened the cave where 12 boys and their soccer coach were trappedduring a rescue saga that received worldwide attentionlast year.
Approximately 2,000 visitors flocked to the reopening of Tham Luang caveon Friday, hoping to be the first to enter the world-famous site in Chiang Rai,according to the Bangkok Post.
It had been closed to visitors since members of theWild Boars youth soccer team weretrapped for 17 days in the flooded caverns nearly 15 months ago.
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More than a million people have visited the cave over the past year, although no one has been able to go inside due to restoration efforts, according to the Bangkok Post.
On Friday, the outlet reported that 20 people were admitted at a timeinsidethe caves mouth and the first chamber. The attraction was open between 8:30 a.m. and4:30 p.m.
We have allowed visitors to see the mouth of the cave, said Kamolchai Kotcha, director of the local conservation office that oversees the cave told the Japan Times.
More than 90 divers were part of the rescue effort that saw experts from various countries trying to help. The youths, aged between 11 and 16, and their coach had all beenrescued byJuly 10 of last year.
The young boys were handcuffed and heavily sedated during the rescue efforts, according to The Cave, a book by Australian Broadcast Corporationcorrespondent Liam Cochrane.
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While all of the boys survived, Thai Navy diverSaman Gunan died after losing consciousness while making his way out of the treacherous caverns as he was delivering air tanks during the rescue efforts.
The rescue efforts were detailed on the Australian television series, Four Corners.
Its one of the most difficult and dangerous and risky things Ive ever done, not in terms of my own personal safety, but in terms of the people I was responsible for, British cave diver Jason Mallinson told Cochrane.
Ive never done anything as risky as that and I dont think I ever will again. But it was the only option we had, and we took it.
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In addition to the publication of Cochranes book and others, Netflix has secured the right to make a miniseries about the dramatic rescue.B: