First pictures of youngsters recovering in hospital


Pictures have emerged of 12 boys recovering in hospital after their dramatic ordeal in a Thai cave came to an end.

In a video, one of the children can be seen throwing up a peace sign to the camera as the remaining children rest in beds in a hospital ward seen behind a glass screen.

Nurses are also seen sitting at the end of their beds wearing masks, gloves and hair nets.

Some of the parents are also seen crying and waving to them from behind the glass barrier.

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Dramatic new footage of cave boys’ rescue

The pictures come after the director of Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital, Chaiwetch Thanapaisal, said the group would have to remain in hospital for up to 10 days. However, he said the group would need a further 30 days at home to recover.

He said all 13 rescued – including the boys’ football coach – and four navy SEALs were “well”.

The group was retrieved following a risky three-day operation, which concluded on Tuesday. Four of the boys were freed on Sunday, another four were released on Monday and the final four plus their coach were rescued on Tuesday.

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The boys are recovering in hospital

The boys had gone missing while exploring the cave after football practice with their 25-year-old coach on 23 June. But bursts of monsoon rain caused the water inside the cave to rise, leaving them trapped.

Monsoon rains forecast for this week added to concerns about falling oxygen levels inside the cave and forced rescue workers from several countries – including the UK – to work even faster to free the group.

On Wednesday, those behind the remarkable rescue mission revealed the youngsters passed through the flooded cave “sleeping” on stretchers.

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The rescued Thai football team

A former Thai navy SEAL, who was the last diver to leave the cave, said the children were “groggy” but breathing.

Commander Chaiyananta Peeranarong said: “Some of them were asleep, some of them were wiggling their fingers… [as if] groggy, but they were breathing.”

He also said the boys’ condition and pulse had to be checked constantly by doctors stationed along the dark corridors of the Tham Luang cave in the north of Thailand.

He added: “My job was to transfer them along… the boys were wrapped up in stretchers already when they were being transferred.”

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Four Thai navy SEALs give a thumbs up as they leave the cave

The details of the rescue mission that involved 13 foreign divers – around half of which were British – are among the first to emerge.

The children was also given a “minor tranquilliser” to calm their nerves, according to Thailand’s junta chief, who denied they were knocked out for the rescue mission.

The leader of the US rescue team said the youngsters endured dives in zero visibility for up to half-an-hour and were placed in a harness and high-lined across parts of the cave.

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Thai PM thanks all involved in cave rescue

Derek Anderson, 32, a rescue specialist with the US air force in Japan, said the boys – aged between 11 and 16 – were “incredibly resilient”.

“What was really important was the coach and the boys all came together and discussed staying strong, having the will to live, having the will to survive,” he said.

Public health inspector Thongchai Lertwilairatanapong said the boys “took care of themselves well in the cave” despite losing weight during their 18-day ordeal.

He said the first four rescued can eat regular food and are able to walk and the four pulled out on Monday are eating soft food. He said three of the 12 boys had lung infections and would need to take medication for a week.

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