At Least Two Boys Have Reportedly Been Rescued From Thailand Cave

Minnie Murray
July 11, 2018

"All four boys have arrived at hospital, all are safe", Narongsak Osottanakorn, head of the rescue mission, told reporters of those freed on Monday.

The first two members of a Thai schoolboy football team have been rescued from the flooded cave where they had been trapped for more than two weeks, a local rescue official said on Sunday.

The the next phase in the rescue operation is set for around 1-2pm (NZT) today at the earliest, involving a further three trapped boys, but an update from an Australian reporter at the scene says a downpour in Thailand today is creating concerns.

"Now and in the next three or four days, the conditions are flawless [for evacuation] in terms of the water, the weather and the boys' health", said Narongsak, governor of the Chiang Rai province, where the caves are. The team of young soccer players, ages 11-16, and their 25-year-old coach were stranded in the caves for almost 10 days due to flooding and their constantly evolving rescue has continued to make news headlines around the world. All four boys were said to be in "perfect" condition, and safely transported to a hospital.

She believes the boys are still alive thanks to their coach.

Narongsak, the rescue mission chief, determined that the latter option was "impossible", as the tunnels are unlikely to dry out before December.

"The teams here are happy the boys are being rescued but also anxious about the severity of the boys' conditions".

The boys, all members of the Wild Boars soccer team between the ages of 11 and 16, and their 25-year-old coach Ekkapol Chantawong were trapped inside Tham Luang cave on June 23 when sudden rains flooded their exit.

The 12 boys and their coach had been trapped in the Tham Luang Nang Non for more than two weeks now. Thirteen medical teams were stationed outside the cave on Sunday -each with its own helicopter and ambulance - one for each of 12 boys and their coach.

The Facebook page for the Thai Navy SEALs has been posting updates on the effort. Rescue teams have made the pause to replace the air tanks.

Monsoon flooding cut off their escape route and prevented rescuers from finding them for nearly 10 days. According to the Thai government, when they reached a spot that couldn't fit a person and an oxygen tank, the divers would take the boy's tank off his back while slowly guiding the boy through the narrow passages.

"They can not decide how many of them will be able to come out for the first operation".

A multi-pronged rescue effort has been underway since they were found almost a week ago.

Rescuers didn't use Musk's ideas to get the first four boys out, but Musk tweeted that he's communicating with the Thai government and other experts on the submarine idea. A search led by Thai navy SEALs and joined by volunteer divers from around the world was fruitless until Monday, when a pair of British divers came up on the hungry but apparently healthy team.

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