MAE SAI, Thailand – Elon Musk said Friday that he is sending engineers from two of his companies to Thailand to see if they can help bring out the members of a youth soccer team that have been trapped in a flooded cave since June 23.
SpaceX & Boring Co engineers headed to Thailand tomorrow to see if we can be helpful to govt. There are probably many complexities that are hard to appreciate without being there in person.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 6, 2018
Musk tweeted the announcement after another Twitter user pleaded for him to help the 12 boys and their coach, who have been underground for almost two weeks.
Hi sir, if possible can you assist in anyway to get the 12 Thailand boys and their coach out of the cave. @elonmusk— Mabz (@MabzMagz) July 3, 2018
I suspect that the Thai govt has this under control, but I’m happy to help if there is a way to do so— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 4, 2018
Thank you @elonmusk. That is really all I ask. that you follow the updates on the situation and perhaps you may come up with something. Some of us can only pray, but you can do more. We know you are not Ironman (...right?). Cheers— Mabz (@MabzMagz) July 4, 2018
In a series of tweets, Musk said his Boring Co, which digs tunnels for advanced transport systems, has advanced ground penetrating radar, and brainstormed that an air tunnel constructed with soft tubing like a Bouncy Castle could provide flexible passage out.
He said engineers from his Boring Co and SpaceX companies needed to be on site to appreciate the complexities of evacuation. There has been no immediate official reaction to his plans.
Boring Co has advanced ground penetrating radar & is pretty good at digging holes. Don’t know if pump rate is limited by electric power or pumps are too smal. If so, could dropship fully charged Powerpacks and pumps.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 5, 2018
SpaceX team reached out to us today to help connect to Thai govt. Our team connected and provided some prep feedback to your team. For pumps, cave has narrowest 70cm cross section and about 5km to 13 guys. For vertical drill, it’s about 1/2 mile down and tricky— James Yenbamroong (@JamesWorldSpace) July 5, 2018
Maybe worth trying: insert a 1m diameter nylon tube (or shorter set of tubes for most difficult sections) through cave network & inflate with air like a bouncy castle. Should create an air tunnel underwater against cave roof & auto-conform to odd shapes like the 70cm hole.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 6, 2018
Good idea. Looking into cross sections and lengths of each section. The critical 70cm cross section area has 15m in length. And we believe 2km away from entrance where pumps should be. pic.twitter.com/RxmrBfpFgG— James Yenbamroong (@JamesWorldSpace) July 6, 2018
This image makes it simple. Critical 70cm area is at the center. Several dives and two rest areas in between before getting to strong 13 Thais. You probably need several inserts if going with air funnel solution pic.twitter.com/1Pz6vd7U4N— James Yenbamroong (@JamesWorldSpace) July 6, 2018
Looks like 1st bit of water is close enough to entrance to be pumped out. 2nd & 3rd would need battery packs, air pumps & tubes. If depth of 2nd is accurate, would need ~0.5 bar tube pressure. Prob need to enter tube, zip up & then transit.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 6, 2018
FIFA sent a letter to the president of the Football Association of Thailand offering its "deepest sympathies and support" to the families of young soccer players and their coach trapped in cave in the country's north.
The letter signed by FIFA President Gianni Infantino also said the organization would like to invite the youngsters and their coach to the World Cup final in Russia, should they be rescued in time and are healthy enough to travel.
The letter said the team's appearance at the final would "undoubtedly be a wonderful moment of communion and celebration."
The boys have asked the navy SEALs taking care of them in the cave for details about what has happened in the World Cup since they got trapped June 23.
The commander of Thai navy SEALs working to rescue a youth soccer team has said he believes there is "a limited amount of time" left in which to extract the boys.
"At first we thought that we could sustain the kids' lives for a long time where they are now, but now, many things have changed. We have a limited amount of time," SEAL commander Arpakorn Yookongkaew said at a news conference Friday morning:
He did not elaborate. The comments came hours after a former navy SEAL working on the rescue passed out while diving and later died.
A senior army commander, Maj. Gen. Chalongchai Chaiyakam, said that the most pressing mission now is to provide an oxygen line to reach the kids.