SpaceX, Elon Musk,
Elon Musk-owned SpaceX and The Boring Company are working on an escape pod design that could help rescue the trapped children from the cave in Thailand.Reuters

SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk on Saturday said a team he had sent for the Thailand cave rescue operations is working closely with experts from the country on an escape capsule design to bring the 12 schoolchildren and their football coach trapped in a partially flooded cave to safety.

"Some good feedback from cave experts in Thailand. Iterating with them on an escape pod design that might be safe enough to try," Musk tweeted on Saturday.

"Also building an inflatable tube with airlocks. Less likely to work, given tricky contours, but great if it does," he added.

The football players and their 25-year-old coach have been trapped in the Tham Luang cave in Thailand for almost two weeks now.

Thai boys stuck in a cave

The boys went missing on June 23 after they had entered the cave in the Chiang Rai region during fine weather but have been trapped due to the narrow tunnels flooding after a sudden downpour.

As the boys are getting more and more exhausted due to drop in oxygen levels, and heavy rains being forecast for this weekend, authorities in the country fear that time is running out to save them, reported on Friday.

So far, around 1,000 people have been involved in the rescue operations, including navy divers, military personnel and civilian volunteers, as reported by the BBC.

Soldiers and rescue workers work in Tham Luang cave complex
Soldiers and rescue workers work in Tham Luang cave complex, as an ongoing search for members of an under-16 soccer team and their coach continues, in the northern province of Chiang Rai, ThailandREUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

Alarmed by the urgency, Musk earlier announced on Twitter that engineers from SpaceX and The Boring Company, which digs tunnels for advanced transport systems, would head to Thailand on Saturday to help the government in the rescue operations.

"There are probably many complexities that are hard to appreciate without being there in person," he added.

Tragically, a former Thai Navy diver who joined the ongoing rescue operations died on Friday. Saman Gunan, 38, lost consciousness on his way out of the Tham Luang cave complex after delivering supplies and could not be revived, reported the BBC.