The underwater search for 12 children and their football coach trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand was halted as water levels rose amid relentless rainfall yesterday.
But search teams, including three British diving experts and US military personnel, continued work above ground despite the setback, scouring the area for entry points to the cave where the team has been stuck since Saturday.
Officials prepared a massive industrial drill to create a new tunnel into the cave close to where the boys are believed to be trapped while drones were dispatched to find other openings.
Heavy rains overnight flooded a second chamber of the 10 kilometre- (six mile-) long Tham Luang cave that is notoriously difficult to navigate, even among the most skilled divers.
"Under the current situation it's not possible to dive into the cave, they have to wait until the water recedes," Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda told reporters yesterday.
"We are preparing to continue pumping the water out so the team can enter the cave," he added.
A team of American military personnel from the US Pacific Command, including pararescue and survival specialists, arrived at the site overnight to help rescue operations, according to embassy spokeswoman Jillian Bonnardeaux.