Eight Thai boys rescued from cave

  • Eight Thai boys rescued from cave

Eight Thai boys rescued from cave

Expert divers have rescued four of 12 boys from a flooded cave in northern Thailand where they were trapped with their soccer coach for more than two weeks, as a risky and complicated operation unfolded amid heavy rain and the threat of rising water underground.

Authorities have been rushing to extract the boys, ages 11-16, and their coach from the cave as monsoon rains bore down on the mountainous region in far northern Chiang Rai province.

The first boy emerged from the cave at 5:40 p.m. local time, followed 10 to 20 minutes later the second boy, Osatanakorn said.

Thai military medical personnel walking inside a restricted area as preparations are made to transport rescued boys from Tham Luang cave to a hospital.

Rescue operations were stopped Sunday evening post the rescue of four boys to replace air tanks and supplies, and it resumed Monday morning.

The extraction of the four on Monday followed a similar pattern to the previous day, with the youngsters emerging in quick succession just before nightfall after navigating a treacherous escape route of more than four kilometers (2.5 miles). Four boys and their 25-year-old soccer coach remain deep in the cave, an ordeal that has lasted more than two weeks after they were trapped inside by floods.

On Sunday, officials waited until several hours after the rescued boys had been transported to hospitals to announce their rescue.

Authorities have refused to confirm names reported in local media, but in the small town of Mae Sai where the cave is located, it's all anybody is talking about.

Officials said Sunday that it may "take days" to bring all 12 boys and their coach to the surface.

Each boy is being accompanied by two divers through the dark and complex cave system. It is about two kilometres from the entrance. Now waiting to receive 4 divers to come out.

On Monday, skies were largely clear over the site but rain has been forecast for at least the next three days.

"This morning they said they were hungry and wanted to eat khao pad grapao", Narongsak said, referring to a Thai dish of meat fried with chili and basil and served over rice. "We have to quarantine them for a little while due to fear of infection".

"The next step is to make sure those kids and their families are safe because living in a cave has a different environment which might contains animals that could transmit any disease", a hospital statement said. Visitors would need to wear sanitized clothes and stay two meters away from the children.

Elon Musk has offered his assistance and has floated plans to save the soccer team stranded in a Thai cave network.

Divers took about four hours to escort Monday's fortunate four from the ledge to the chamber, the source added.

Thai authorities revealed that the first phase was executed "smoothly" and the boys who had been evacuated were in "good health".

Another video from Thai PBS showed an ambulance arriving at the hospital in Chiang Rai. Onlookers were seen watching and cheering as they drove by.

The boys and their coach went exploring in the massive Tham Luang Nang Non cave on June 23 after a soccer practice, and were cut off when a rainstorm flooded the cave. Working directly to guide the boys out are 13 expert foreign divers and five Thai Navy SEALs.

Rescuers have been unable to extend a hose pumping oxygen all the way to where the boys are, but have brought them some oxygen tanks.

Somboon Sompiangjai, 38, whose son Peerapat, known as Night, is still in the cave, said parents had been told they would not be able to visit their sons once rescued.