Friday, 21 September, 2018

4 more boys rescued from Thai cave, bringing total to 8

Fighting time, high waters, divers prepare to rescue second group of Thai boys from cave 4 freed from Thailand cave, but rescuers face 'war with water and time' to get to others
Ellis Copeland | 11 July, 2018, 01:01

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

It took nine hours Sunday to rescue the first two boys, who were described as the weakest of the group.

Over the weekend, the Thai government successfully rescued four boys who had been trapped in the cave since June 23.

Four boys among 12 who were stuck in the flooded cave in Thailand's northern province of Chiang Rai were rescued on Monday, the Thai Navy SEAL said in a Facebook post.

Earlier, Narongsak told a news conference a team had gone into the cave to rescue the remaining boys at 11 a.m. (0400 GMT), and he expected good news.

Five ambulances were seen driving toward the cave complex on Monday afternoon, and at least one helicopter was also seen heading toward the cave entrance.

Seven more boys and the coach are still trapped.

Authorities have refused to confirm names reported in local media, but in the small town of Mae Sai where the cave is located, it's all anybody is talking about.

A spokesman for Musk's Boring Co. tunneling unit, which has four engineers at the cave, has said Thai officials requested the device, which could potentially help the children through narrow, flooded cave passageways.

Authorities declined to say how many boys would be extracted on Monday. Seven boys remain trapped inside with their coach.

The evacuation procedure calls for the boys to receive initial medical treatment there before rescuers take them through the remaining stretch of the cave to a field hospital outside, and then transport them by helicopter or ambulance to join their colleagues at the hospital.

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Relatives said the boys had been inside the labyrinthine complex during the dry season.

"Imagine marathon runners. It's like when they reach the finish line exhausted", said the source.

They are being kept separate from their families at present because of infection fears, authorities said.

The head of the rescue mission, Narongsak Osottanakorn, said last week they would bring the fittest people in the group out first.

"Living in a cave has a different environment, which might contain animals that could transmit any disease", they said.

So far those who have been released have been rushed off to hospital, and the most recent boys to make it out have been stretchered off.

"Visitors will only be allowed to meet and talk to the patients", he said. The diver, the first fatality of the rescue effort, was working in a volunteer capacity and died on a mission to place air canisters along the passage to where the boys are, necessary for divers to safely travel the five- to six-hour route. The device could be used to rescue one boy at a time as it has space to fit in one person with his arms crossed, he said. Previously, round trips through the cave network would take about 11 hours.

According to the Bangkok Post, as part of the second operation, four boys in total had been brought to chamber 3, which is beyond the narrow bottleneck which poses one of the most hard parts of the route out. Two other boys came out at 7:40 p.m. and 7:50 p.m. Onlookers were seen watching and cheering as they drove by.

All ten of the boys trapped in a flooded Thai cave have been rescued. 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.

Part of the complicated rescue included the boys having to walk on their feet through muddy and rocky areas that were not underwater.

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