Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Four more boys rescued from Thailand cave Monday

Four more boys rescued from Thailand cave Monday

Ambulances drove toward a helipad, where a helicopter was seen taking off shortly after to the cheers of the crowd below. That brought the total number of boys rescued to five.

Ambulances parked on standby outside the hospital in Chiang Rai province. Medics appeared to remove one person on a stretcher but hid the person's identity behind multiple white umbrellas.

All the eight rescued survivors are now quarantined in the clean ward of the hospital.

Rescuers on Monday shaved two hours off their initial estimate for how long it would take to get the boys out, with the operation starting at 11 a.m. and the first soccer player emerging around 4:30 p.m. local time. Through a translator, he says people keep thinking about the teammates trapped underground and that "everyone is trying to help the families".

"I confirm that we are at war with water and time from the first day up to today", he said Saturday. "And we will do it faster because we are afraid of the rain".

"No hugging" or "touching" would be allowed between the boys and their relatives, however, until all medical tests are completed, the official said.

Authorities on Monday confirmed that water inflows into the cave remained at controllable levels while drainage efforts continued.

In an indication of how risky the journey can be, a former Thai navy diver died in the caves on Friday.

Just a few kilometres from the lush forest that covers the mountainside of the Tham Luang cave, four boys dressed in their white school uniforms shoot hoops on an outdoor basketball court in Mae Sai.

"This morning they said they were hungry and wanted to eat khao pad grapao", Narongsak said, referring to a Thai dish of meat fried with chili and basil and served over rice.

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Rescuers chose to go ahead with the operation to free them because of fears that waters would rise again.

The boys and their coach went exploring in the massive Tham Luang Nang Non cave on June 23 after a soccer practice, and were cut off when a rainstorm flooded the cave.

Meanwhile, anxious parents waiting at the entrance - many of whom have been holding 24-hour vigils despite the overnight rains - say they are still not being told "anything" about which boys are about to emerge from the cave, and can do nothing but wait.

The search and rescue operation has riveted people both in Thailand and internationally, with journalists from across the globe traveling to this town along the border with Myanmar to report on the ordeal.

Provincial Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said in a press briefing that the boys taken to the Chiang Rai hospital Monday were all conscious and in better condition than those rescued Sunday, classifying them as "good" and "safe", CNN reported.

Air tanks were planted along the route earlier on Monday.

Extracting group could take three to four days.

When Sgt. -Maj. Saman Gunan, a former Thai navy Seal, died while laying oxygen tanks along the route out of the cave, people grieved and became fearful about what could lie ahead for the team. Two divers accompanied each of the boys, all of whom have been learning to dive only since July 2, when searchers found them. That said, Musk's effort, while laudable, might not be needed for this particular rescue.

Four boys were rescued on Monday evening following the four who were bought safely out of the cave on Sunday.

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