Eight boys rescued but four more plus coach remain trapped

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Expert divers have so far rescued eight boys from a flooded cave in Thailand, leaving another four youngsters and their football coach to be brought to safety.

After day two of the rescue operation, Thai navy officials said four more boys had been led to safety on Monday after the first four were rescued on Sunday.

A Thai army commander said the operation went “smoothly” but warned the next phase “will depend on all conditions” with rain forecast for the coming week. He asked for three more days to complete the rescue mission.

“I ask for three for days and all the Wild Boar team will come out,” he said.

Thai soldiers walking from the cave area as operations restart on Monday  Eight boys rescued but four more plus coach remain trapped skynews thailand cave 4357247
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Thai soldiers walking from the cave area as operations restart on Monday

Chiang Rai’s acting governor Narongsak Osatanakorn, who is leading the rescue mission, said the health of the remaining five inside the cave was “still good” and added that he was not sure if the they would be led out of the cave in one or more operations.

He said the four boys rescued on Sunday were “hungry but in good health”. Monday’s arrivals from the Tham Luang cave were rushed to hospital in ambulances after spending more than two weeks trapped in the cave. Their condition is not yet known.

Speaking at a news conference ahead of Monday’s operation, Mr Narongsak touched on concerns after monsoon rains lashed the region for several hours the night before.

Officials said it had not changed the water level in the cave but forecasters have warned rain could continue to hit the area throughout the week.

Police use umbrellas to cover a stretcher at a military airport in Chiang Rai  Eight boys rescued but four more plus coach remain trapped skynews thai cave stranded boys 4357636
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Police use umbrellas to cover a stretcher at a military airport in Chiang Rai
A graphic showing the boys' predicament  Eight boys rescued but four more plus coach remain trapped skynews thailand cave 4353602
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A graphic showing the boys’ predicament

Mr Narongsak said: “All conditions are still as good as they were yesterday… we are ready like before. And we will do it faster because we are afraid of the rain.”

The four boys rescued on Sunday were each accompanied by two divers as they were gradually extracted from the cave.

The mission chief told reporters: “They are well and happy. This morning they complained that they are hungry and they asked for fried basil with rice.”

Onlookers watched on as the boys were taken to hospital  Eight boys rescued but four more plus coach remain trapped skynews thailand cave 4357567
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Onlookers watched on as the boys were taken to hospital

He also said they would be “kept away” from physical contact with their parents until the youngsters are no longer at risk of infection.

“They [the first four] will be kept away from their parents for a while because we are concerned about infections,” he said, before adding that doctors would decide on family visits and the boys would be kept “at a distance” or seen “through glass”.

The names of the rescued boys have not been released out of “respect for those families whose sons are still trapped inside”, the mission chief said.

An ambulance thought to be carrying one of the rescued boys  Eight boys rescued but four more plus coach remain trapped skynews thailand cave 4357575
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An ambulance thought to be carrying one of the rescued boys

The same divers who rescued the children on Sunday went back in to collect the next four on Monday, with the country’s interior minister Anupong Paojinda saying they would conduct the next operation as they already knew of the cave’s conditions and how to safely bring the children out.

Officials previously said they were battling a “war with water and time” to save the team – warning it could be up to four days before all 13 people are brought to safety. Among them are weak swimmers and children as young as 11.

Their only way out is through dark, tight passageways filled with muddy water and strong currents – perilous conditions that claimed the life of a former Thai navy SEAL last week.



Thailand cave rescue  Eight boys rescued but four more plus coach remain trapped skynews thailand cave graphic 4356414




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The perilous route out of the Thai cave

A total of 90 divers are involved in the operation and 50 of them are foreign, some of them from the UK.

The boys went missing after football practice with their 25-year-old coach on 23 June.

More from Thailand Cave Rescue



Stranded Thai football team training on the day they got stuck in the caves  Eight boys rescued but four more plus coach remain trapped skynews thai football team 4354707




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Team training on day of caving accident

They had set out on an adventure to explore the cave – reportedly for a picnic to celebrate one of their birthdays. But bursts of monsoon rain caused the water inside the cave to rise, leaving them trapped.

The rescue mission is expected to continue on Tuesday.



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