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Elon Musk sends SpaceX-Boring team to Thai cave rescue

Extraction efforts for trapped soccer team threatened by impending rainstorm

Elon Musk's The Boring Company and SpaceX send engineers to Thailand to offer help in cave rescue.   © Reuters

NEW YORK -- Elon Musk is sending a team of engineers from his companies SpaceX and The Boring Company to Thailand to see if their expertise can assist the mission to rescue 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in a waterlogged cave complex.

In a tweet on Friday, the billionaire entrepreneur announced that the engineers would be sent "to see if we can be helpful."

"We are speaking with the Thai government to see how we can help, and we are sending SpaceX/Boring Company people from the U.S. to Thailand today to offer support on the ground," a Boring Company representative told Nikkei Asian Review. "Once we confirm what exactly will be helpful to send or do, we will. We are getting feedback and guidance from the people on the ground in Chiang Rai to determine the best way for us to assist their efforts."

Rescue teams are in a race against the clock as the cave's oxygen levels drop and a forecast of rain threatens to refill sections of the flooded cave currently being drained. The situation took a dark turn Friday when a former Thai Navy SEAL died during a rescue attempt after running out of air during a dive.

Musk first offered his companies' assistance in a tweet on Thursday, noting that The Boring Company has "advanced ground-penetrating radar," and "is pretty good at digging holes." The creation of an underwater air tunnel using a nylon tube was also raised in a separate tweet on Friday.

"Maybe worth trying: insert a 1m diameter nylon tube (or shorter set of tubes for most difficult sections) through cave network & inflate with air like a bouncy castle. Should create an air tunnel underwater against cave roof & auto-conform to odd shapes," the tweet read.

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