Amid jubilation, 4 more boys rescued from flooded Thai cave

Minnie Murray
July 11, 2018

A witness on the scene reported seeing three people being carried on stretchers from the cave into an ambulance on Monday, with the first one emerging around 4:30 p.m., Reuters said.

The rescued boys are likely to stay in Chiang Rai hospital for 48 hours undergoing medical tests to check their health after they swam through dirty floodwaters to exit the cave. 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 June 23, a Thai soccer team (aged 11-16) and their coach became stranded in the Tham Luang underground caves they were exploring, when severe rains sealed off their escape route.

Divers have rescued four more boys from a vast cave system in northern Thailand on the second day of a challenging mission, as the first four rescued boys recover in hospital. That left four boys and the team's coach trapped inside as the operation was called off for the day.

"I'm hoping for good news", he said.

Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osotthanakorn said at a press conference on Monday that the effort would involve the same divers. Sunday's mission took nine hours and plenty of energy, with each child being accompanied by two divers along the way.

Four boys and their soccer coach remain in the cave.

Officials say they are in good health but will not be allowed close contact with their relatives because of the risk of infection.


The rescued boys were airlifted to the Chiagrai Prachanukroh Hospital in Chiang Rai after initial treatment at a field hospital near the caves, and the four boys rescued Sunday were said to be "in good condition". They began again at 11 am on Monday after the teams had stopped for the night to rest and to replenish equipment and oxygen supplies.

The Seals posted a count on their Facebook page, concluding with "Two days, eight boars", a reference to the name of the boys' football team.

But with oxygen levels inside dropping to unsafe lows and the prospect of heavy rains flooding the area completely, authorities decided they had to move quickly and take the group out through the water-filled tunnels.

Ambulances and rescue crews have returned to the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in northern Thailand for a second operation to free more trapped boys.

Elon Musk's Space X rocket company is testing a "kid-sized submarine" that could be sent to help boys trapped in a flooded Thailand cave.

Regarding Sunday's rescue, Narongsak said earlier Monday that the healthiest boys were removed first.

Narongsak said favorable factors for a successful rescue, including the fact that water levels in the cave remain stable even though rain had fallen.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, leader of the Thai military junta that seized power in 2014, planned to visit the cave site on Monday. But the rescue was prodded into action by the threat of a fresh round of rains and falling oxygen levels in the cave. One was that it was unknown how safe and dry the area where they had taken shelter would stay as Thailand's rainy season, which lasts until at least late October, picks up pace.

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