8 boys freed from Thai cave; rescuers working to save 5 others

11 July, 2018, 00:50 | Author: Carlos George
  • Fighting time, high waters, divers prepare to rescue second group of Thai boys from cave

Four of the boys were safely rescued on Sunday after rescuers carried out a risky operation, amid fears the waters will rise again to a unsafe level.

Emergency crews in Thailand brought a second group of four boys to safety on Monday, more than two weeks after 12 boys and their soccer coach were trapped in a flooded cave network.

Chiang Rai acting Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said all four boys rescued Monday are "safe and conscious" and in a hospital.

The treacherous rescue mission, which has already claimed the life of former Thai Navy SEAL Saman Kunan who ran out of oxygen placing air tanks along the escape route, resumed on Monday morning. "We will have to do the next mission as successfully as the one we did today".

Image: A crowd watches as ambulances transport some of the rescued boysA crowd watches as ambulances transport some of the rescued boys to a hospital on Monday.Lauren DeCicca / Getty Images Three more boys were carried out in the hours that followed, according to a post on the Thai navy SEALs Facebook page.

This, he added, was made possible by the involvement of more rescuers and the experience gained the day before.

Then it will depend on the weather. "And it is up to the environment. And we will do it faster because we are afraid of the rain".

Authorities have repeatedly warned that the rain could re-flood crucial parts of the cave complex that have been drained and make the escape route march harder or even impossible to navigate.

"The Prime Minister wants this to be a lesson, this should not happen again in Thailand", Narongsak said.

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The first four members of the Wild Boar soccer team were rescued Sunday and are in a hospital.

British divers found the 13 a week ago. "We heard four boys are out but we do not know who they are". Thai navy SEALs are leading the effort, but more than 90 rescue workers from around the world have been laboring in and around the dark, twisting cave.

Relatives said the boys had been inside the labyrinthine complex during the dry season. In a press conference last night he said it was up to the divers to decide whether it is possible to save all five at once, warning the plan worked best with four. "I'm so happy the children came out safely". Monday's mission involved 18 divers from Thailand and overseas.

Authorities have not confirmed the identity of the rescued boys.

Rescuers in Thailand on Monday began their second attempt to free the remaining boys and their coach still trapped inside a cave, but warned that heavy rains have soaked the area and they are now in a race with "water and time".

Four of the 13 were rescued Sunday, but authorities have not yet identified them publicly and details of their condition remain sparse.

Medical teams previously said concerns included hypothermia and an airborne lung infection known as "cave disease", which is caused by bat and bird droppings.

Four of the boys were rescued yesterday, but nine remain underground including their 25-year-old fooitball coach, Ekkapol Chantawong.

"We've been working continuously overnight", a Chiang Rai government source told AFP on Monday morning, requesting anonymity, and confirming that there had only been a pause of the actual extraction operations.

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