Sun07222018

LAST_UPDATESat, 21 Jul 2018 9pm

Thai PM Asks Media To Stop "Dramatising" Elon Musk's Tweet

Gen Prayut Chan o ChaGen Prayut Chan o Cha

BANGKOK – Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has asked media in Thailand to stop from prolonging a "spat" between Narongsak Ossothanakorn, who headed the Tham Luang cave rescue operations and American space entrepreneur, Elon Musk.

The "spat" revolved an offer by Musk to use a mini-submarine developed by his company in the rescue operations but was turned down by Narongsak who bluntly described his high-tech underwater gadget as "impractical".

"His (Elon Musk) equipment will definitely be useful in several other situations. In Thailand it may not be able to pass through some narrow passageways...Stop dramatising," said Prayut according to the local media here.

The Prime Minister said, he did met the American in Chiang Rai and thanked him for his help.

Musk, who is also Tesla's chief executive officer, flew to Chiang Rai Monday night along with the mini-submarine developed from rocket parts and named it "Wild Boar", after the young boys' football team.

The boys aged 11 to 16 and their 25 year-old coach have been trapped inside the cave since June 23. All were rescued by a team of multinational divers who retained the true and tested method during three days of highly risky mission beginning on Sunday.

Asked during a media conference Tuesday about Musk's mini-sub as the rescue team was attempting to take out the final five victims, Narongsak said the rescue team will not be using the underwater device.

“The equipment he (Musk) gave us is not practical for our mission. It is technologically complex and too advanced, but we cannot bring it into the cave for this mission,” said the former Chiang Rai governor.

Responding to Narongsak's statement during the media conference, Musk shot back by saying that the Thai was not an expert on the matter.

"The former Thai provincial governor (described) inaccurately as 'rescue chief' is not the subject matter expert," said the American, adding that Brit's Dick Stanton who co-led the rescue operation was the expert on the issue.

-- BERNAMA