On 10 July, all 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in a flooded cave complex in northern Thailand for over two weeks, were finally saved following a complicated three-day rescue operation. It was a miracle made possible by the power of love, strong determination, persistence and professional expertise from around the world. Our joint venture company in Thailand, Bangkok Industrial Gas (BIG), played a key role in this critical life-saving mission by supplying oxygen and technical experts.
BIG immediately contacted Thai Navy SEAL to offer help when the Thai soccer team and coach were found alive but trapped in the cave after missing for 10 days. Upon knowing the urgent requirements of 200 bar oxygen, they managed to get all oxygen cylinders ready and assembled a group of 5 technical experts within 4 hours, and drove over 400 miles for 15 hours to reach the cave. Confident in BIG’s gas supply knowledge and expertise, Thai Navy SEAL and the government entrusted them with all oxygen operations. Some of the BIG people also took part in the government’s rescue planning team.
Piyabut Charuphen, managing director of BIG said, “We are very proud of being a critical part of this life-saving mission. Our contribution demonstrates Air Products’ and BIG’s core values - safety and reliability, and higher purpose on caring for our communities where we live and work.”
BIG, a joint venture between Air Products and Thai investors since 1987, is a leading industrial gas company in Thailand providing atmospheric gases, and process and specialty gases to many markets, including petrochemical, steel, food freezing, glass, pulp and paper, electronics and more.