Spirit of mythical princess looms over Thai cave crisis

Source: Associated Press

By TASSANEE VEJPONGSA and KAWEEWIT KAEWJINDA

MAE SAI, Thailand (AP) — Along a muddy mountain path not far from the entrance to a flooded cave where 12 young members of a Thai soccer team have been missing for four days is a shrine to a mythical princess whose spirit is said to inhabit the caverns below.

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A steady stream of visitors come to kneel down, light candles and incense and pray in front of a statue of a young woman wearing a pink traditional outfit, surrounded by flowers and other offerings.

For days, the wish has been a simple one: Please let our boys come home.

The youngsters aged 11-16 have been missing since their 25-year-old coach took them to the sprawling cave on Saturday after a practice match. Rescuers led by elite navy divers have been frustrated by incessant rain and flooding that has slowed their search of the kilometers-long (miles-long) underground complex.

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