Oxygen levels are dropping in the cave trapping the Thai youth soccer team

Thai boys smile as Thai Navy SEAL medic help injured children inside a cave in Mae Sai, northern Thailand.
(Image credit: Royal Thai Navy Facebook Page/The Associated Press)

Oxygen levels have dropped to 15 percent in the cave where flooding has trapped a Thai youth soccer team for two weeks. The risk of hypoxia and a forecast of additional rain in coming days has increased pressure on rescuers, who are considering a "buddy dive" plan, in which each of the boys would be paired with an expert cave diver.

Many of the boys cannot swim, and drilling through half a mile of solid rock to rescue them from above is unlikely to be a feasible solution. It is possible the cave could have a back entrance which would permit rescuers to bypass the flooded areas and raise the boys up through a chute, but so far one has not been found in the thick jungle landscape above the cave.

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