Tesla chief Elon Musk sends engineers to Thailand to help in cave rescue

Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk at a news conference on June 14, 2018, in Chicago, Illinois.
Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk at a news conference on June 14, 2018, in Chicago, Illinois.PHOTO: AFP

SAN FRANCISCO (BLOOMBERG) - Billionaire Elon Musk is sending a team of engineers to Thailand to explore ways to help rescue a boys' football team stuck in a cave.

Mr Musk's companies could assist by trying to pinpoint the boys' precise location using Space Exploration Technologies or Boring technology, pumping water or providing heavy-duty battery packs known as Tesla Powerwalls, a spokesman for Mr Musk said earlier. It is unclear whether Thai officials have accepted the offer.

Twelve boys and their coach, who had been missing since last month, were found by a pair of British cave divers late on Monday. Efforts to rescue them are hampered by narrow passageways and rising waters in the cave system. Most of the boys cannot swim.

Last year, after a devastating hurricane hit Puerto Rico, the government there asked Mr Musk for help. Tesla sent Powerwalls and provided advice on rebuilding the Caribbean island's infrastructure.

Over the past few days, Mr Musk posited possible ways that his companies could help in Thailand.

"I suspect that the Thai govt has this under control, but am happy to help if there is a way to do so," he wrote on Twitter.

Mr Musk's tunnelling start-up Boring could potentially make available its massive drills or excavation expertise, but such an approach could be too dangerous for this mission.