Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Eight soccer players rescued from cave, 4 more remain trapped

Eight soccer players rescued from cave, 4 more remain trapped

An aide to the Thai Navy SEAL commander says four boys were brought out of the flooded cave in northern Thailand on Monday and the ongoing rescue operation is over for the day. "Oxygen bottles are next few hours we will have good news", Narongsak Osottanakorn told reporters, after announcing the second phase of the rescue bid had begun.

Musk on Sunday shared photos and videos of a small submarine-like vessel that could help rescue the group stranded on a muddy ledge about 2.5 miles from the cave's main entrance, and about half a mile below the surface.

"All conditions are still as good as they were yesterday, " Narongsak told a news conference. The same divers were deployed Monday because they were familiar the cave, authorities said. If the rain god helps us, then we may be able to work fast.

Although the rescued eight were all presumed to be the boys, aged between 11 and 16, authorities did not reveal their identities nor confirm whether the coach remained inside the cave. "We have to quarantine them for a little while due to fear of infection". Four boys were also retrieved from the cave Sunday.

"The operation today (Sunday) was more successful than we earlier expected", he said. The boys rescued Sunday were described as strong and safe but needed to undergo medical checks. The four evacuated on Monday were also hospitalized, although their condition was not announced.

Eight of the boys who were rescued earlier this week are recovering at the hospital.

That brings to three the number of ambulances that have left the site Monday during the second day of a high-risk operation to bring the boys out of a labyrinth cave system made up of tight passageways and flooded chambers.

The soccer team seen in the cave last week, before anyone was rescued.

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Officials lavished praise on the Thai and global divers who executed the risky rescue mission, guiding boys who can barely swim and have no diving experience through a treacherous 4-kilometer-long (2 1/2-mile) escape route that twisted and turned and rose and fell inside the mountain cave complex.

Officials said on Sunday that it may "take days" to rescue all 12 boys and their coach.

The potential for rising water and the dwindling oxygen levels added to the urgency of getting the team out.

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

The boys and their coach set out to explore the vast Tham Luang cave complex after soccer practice on June 23, and got trapped when a rainy season downpour flooded the tunnels. Monsoon flooding cut off their escape and prevented rescuers from finding them for nearly 10 days.

The ordeal has riveted Thailand and captured the world's attention. Sunday's mission involved 13 foreign divers and five Thai navy SEALs.

A stretcher carrying what is believed to be a fifth boy rescued from a cave in northern Thailand. If successful, the sub would be placed on a 17-hour flight to Thailand.

Shortly after, ambulances were seen racing toward the nearby city of Chiang Rai down roads that had been cleared of traffic to smooth the journey.

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