Dramatic footage released of emaciated Thai boys in cave

Twelve boys and their soccer coach have been found alive by rescuers inside a Thai cave complex nine days after they went missing.
An undated handout photo released by the Royal Thai Army shows the 12 members of a youth football team and their coach inside the cave complex at Tham Luang cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park, Chiang Rai province, Thailand, on July 3, 2018.
An undated handout photo released by the Royal Thai Army shows the 12 members of a youth football team and their coach inside the cave complex at Tham Luang cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park, Chiang Rai province, Thailand, on July 3, 2018. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

MAE SAI, THAILAND (AFP) - Dramatic footage was released early on Tuesday (July 3) of an emaciated and bedraggled Thai youth football team crammed onto a wedge of dry ground surrounded by water deep inside a cave where they have been trapped.

They had been missing for nine days before they were found on Monday.

The group, mostly seated and with baggy football shirts pulled over their knees and illuminated by torchlight, requested food and asked to leave the cave immediately, according to the video taken late on Monday and shared on the official Facebook page of the Thai Navy Seals.

In the video, an unidentified diver, speaking with a British accent, urges the group to stay calm and says "many, many people are coming... we are the first".

The group appears exhausted, rake thin, sensitive to the light but lucid, with some speaking faltering English to try to communicate with the unidentified diver.

A voice confirms that all 13 people who went missing last Saturday are on the slope of land.

One child asks "what day?" and another says "we are hungry... shall we go outside?"

The diver replies: "I know, I understand... no, not today. You have been here for 10 days, you are very strong."

A rake-thin child in the foreground appears to bow in gratitude and says "thank you" as his voice falters.