Published: Wed, July 11, 2018

Four boys rescued from Thai cave: the rest wait for Monday

Four boys rescued from Thai cave: the rest wait for Monday

Expert divers Sunday 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. Per the Bangkok Post, the boys have been split up into four groups.

It was not clear who was inside the ambulance or the helicopter.

Thai police officers stand guard at the blocking area in front of the oxygen tanks on a vehicle during rescue operations to save a soccer team at Tham Luang cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park, Chiang Rai province, Thailand.

Divers had to hold the boys close to their bodies to bring them out and each had to wear an oxygen mask to enable normal breathing, authorities said.

Nine people remained trapped in the cave, including the team's coach, after four boys were rescued on Sunday, the first day of the rescue operation.

The first boy emerged from the cave at 5:40 p.m., less than eight hours after the operation began.

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

Chiang Rai provincial acting Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said the four healthiest boys were taken from the cave first. The boys were dived out from the cave one by one, escorted by two divers at one time.

A Thai army commander said the entire operation could take up to four days.

After the four boys were removed from the cave, heavy rain started falling.


A respite in the rain gave rescuers a window - albeit brief - their best opportunity to get some of the boys out.

Narongsak said rescuers had to tighten a guide rope as part of their preparations for Monday's operation.

The front of the hospital has been obscured by a green tarpaulin to prevent media from viewing the rescued boys and hospital staff entering and exiting the building. He died while placing oxygen containers along the escape route.

Thirteen foreign divers and five members of Thailand's elite Navy Seal unit have been tasked with bringing the boys through narrow, submerged passageways.

"I mean, we're a big country and Thailand is a small country". Another option would be to drill a hole into the cave and airlift the boys out.

According to the site, he confirmed rescuers would need several hours to rest and prepare their equipment.

In a tweet Sunday morning, U.S. President Donald Trump said, "The U.S.is working very closely with the Government of Thailand to help get all of the children out of the cave and to safety". Completing the mission could take up to 3 or 4 days, depending on the weather, rescue operators told Reuters.

Two divers are helping each of the boys out as families wait nervously outside the cave entrance - 2.5 miles (4km) from where they were trapped. A storm arrived while the group was deep inside, where they couldn't hear the rain, and were trapped when water sloshed into the cave.

Authorities in northern Chiang Rai province began the unsafe mission to bring out the 12 boys and their coach earlier on Sunday.

"We have to place new oxygen tanks (along the route) as the previous ones have been used in today's operation", he noted.

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