Monk trapped in flooded Thai cave rescued

Thai rescue workers attending to Buddhist monk Phra Ajarn Manas in a partly-flooded cave yesterday. He was trapped after entering it days ago to meditate.
Thai rescue workers attending to Buddhist monk Phra Ajarn Manas in a partly-flooded cave yesterday. He was trapped after entering it days ago to meditate.PHOTO: THAILAND RESCUE DIVER/FACEBOOK

BANGKOK • Thai rescue workers said yesterday that they had freed a Buddhist monk trapped in a flooded cave in Phitsanulok province after he went inside days ago to meditate.

The monk, identified by a local rescue unit as 46-year-old Phra Ajarn Manas, was on a pilgrimage from another Thai province and had gone into the Phra Sai Ngam cave last Saturday.

An unseasonal rainstorm that struck on Sunday and continued till Tuesday flooded parts of the cave while he was inside, the rescue unit said on its Facebook page.

It said residents in the area told the unit on Tuesday afternoon that the monk was trapped in the cave.

Rescue workers went in looking for him but had to call off the operation after about an hour due to rising water levels.

Pictures on the unit's Facebook page yesterday show the monk sitting inside the cave surrounded by rescue workers and having his blood pressure taken.

"At 11.30am, we successfully rescued Phra Manas out of the cave," the unit said in a post.

One of the rescue workers confirmed in a phone call that the monk was out of the cave and was getting first aid.

Seventeen divers participated in the rescue effort.

Thailand made global headlines in 2018 with the high-profile rescue of 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in the northern town of Chiang Rai.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 08, 2021, with the headline 'Monk trapped in flooded Thai cave rescued'. Subscribe