Thai Cave Rescue: Sixth Boy Leaves, Six Soccer Players and Coach Remain
Thai Cave Rescue: Sixth Boy Leaves, Six Soccer Players and Coach Remain
Onlookers watch and cheer during the rescue operation
11 July, 2018, 10:30
A massive worldwide search operation was launched and it took 10 days to locate the boys, who had taken shelter on a dry slope deep in the complex.
The first four boys, from the group of 13, including the coach, were rescued on Sunday.
Divers who extracted four Thai boys from a cave, resumed the rescue operation on Monday for eight remaining schoolboys and their football coach trapped in a waterlogged cave in northern Chiang Rai province, a senior official said. It could take two to four days complete the mission, officials said. He said that process can take several hours.
But he could not confirm if all five would come out today.
More than 90 divers altogether are said to be involved in the operation.
Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha earlier toured the rescue operations near the cave site, suggesting he may organise a party to thank foreign divers who have assisted in the evacuation operation.
He later visited the eight rescued boys at the Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital.
He added that the divers were the "same multinational team" that rescued the four boys on Sunday.
The 12 members of the Wild Boars junior soccer team and their 25-year-old coach Ekkapol Chantawong first went missing on June 23 after heavy rains entrapped them in the Tham Luang cave where they'd gone for a trek.
During the hours-long trip out of the cave, each boy was accompanied underwater by two divers helping them navigate the dark, murky water.
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 four evacuated on Monday were also hospitalized, although their condition was not announced.
The saga has dominated global headlines, with the team spending nine days unaccounted for inside the cave before British divers found the emaciated and dishevelled group huddling on a muddy bank.
Rescuers are moving ahead quickly because they are afraid monsoon rains will completely flood the caves.
The rescue operation began on Sunday, and four people were rescued, a further four were rescued on Monday, with six boys and their football coach left in the cave.
The rescue began on Sunday.
Rescuers had planned to take a 10- to 20-hour pause in the rescue efforts to replenish the cave with oxygen and give the team of 18 divers leading the boys on the hard journey a chance to rest. On Friday, a former navy SEAL who suited up again to volunteer died on a dive to resupply the oxygen needed for the long and arduous dive.
The emergence of the second batch of four boys on Monday evening was greeted with a simple "Hooyah" by the SEAL team on their Facebook page, an exclamation that lit up Thai social media. "From what I've seen in the clip, they did look skinny", he said.
Narongsak said favorable factors for a successful rescue, including the fact that water levels in the cave remain stable even though rain had fallen.
Four of the boys were rescued on Sunday, and authorities are now working to replenish air tanks along the cave's treacherous exit route.
One boy asked for a fried chicken dinner. They and were in good condition in hospital, officials said. The most unsafe part is the first kilometer, during which the divers and boys are required to squeeze through a narrow, flooded channel.
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Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda told reporters the rescued boys were in good health in hospital but did not give details. They are the second batch to undertake the perilous journey out of Tham Luang cave in Mae Sai district in Chiang Rai.
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