Cave rescue: Elation as Thai boys and coach freed by divers.
Joy and relief have greeted the rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from flooded caves in northern Thailand after divers finished a daring operation to bring them out.
Seventeen days after they got trapped underground, the last five members of the group emerged on Tuesday.
Their plight and also the complex three-day-long operation to free them gripped the world’s attention.
Celebrations have swept the South East Asian country and further afield.
There were cheers across the Tham Luang cave system in the nation’s Chiang Rai province as a rescue operation involving dozens of divers and hundreds of other rescue workers came to an end on Tuesday evening.
At the home just below the mountains where the men who run the Wild Boars football team meet, there were laughter, shouts, and cheers – and individuals shook hands in a really un-Thai way
In the nearby city of Chiang Rai, the news was greeted by the honking of car horns while people gathered outside the hospital – where all those rescued from the caves were taken for treatment – broke into applause.
On social media, Thais showed their feelings about the rescuers by using hashtags including #Heroes and #Thankyou.
Offers of hospitality for the boys, the coach, and their rescuers have come in from international football clubs including Manchester United and Benfica.