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Thai cave rescue: Another boy rescued on Monday, 8 still inside cave

Thai cave rescue: Another boy rescued on Monday, 8 still inside cave Thai cave rescue: Another boy rescued on Monday, 8 still inside cave
Patty Aguilar | 11 July, 2018, 01:45

The rescue strategy was to begin with reducing water levels in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave so that the team could easily take the children out.

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

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha visited the cave to inspect the operation, with navy rescuers giving him a rousing cheer.

"You can't make a horror movie that would even compare", said Anmar Mirza with the National Cave Rescue Mission.

Divers who extracted four Thai boys from a cave, resumed the rescue operation on Monday for eight remaining schoolboys and their football coach trapped in a waterlogged cave in northern Chiang Rai province, a senior official said.

Mr Narongsak said yesterday morning that the boys and their coach were physically and mentally strong enough to dive their way out of Tham Luang.

On Sunday, officials waited until several hours after the rescued boys had been transported to hospitals to announce their rescue.

A video published by the Thai PBS channel earlier on Monday also showed a person on a stretcher - most likely the first boy to be rescued on Monday - being transferred to a helicopter.

Doctors fear the children, who are aged between 11 and 16, may have contracted illnesses or infections while they were trapped underground.

Officials last week said they would bring the fittest people in the group out first, but Narongsak later said that whoever was ready first would be escorted out.

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UPDATE 0841 ET: The rescue operation has been suspended for the night in Thailand.

The "Wild Boars" soccer team and their coach got trapped on June 23 when they set out to explore the vast cave complex after soccer practice, when a rainy season downpour flooded the tunnels. Thai Navy SEALs and global cave diving experts brought out four boys Sunday, and the operation is continuing today.

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.

The fate of the boys and their coach has gripped Thailand and drawn worldwide media attention.

"If everything turns out as we've expected, whether it be the weather or readiness of the rescue team, there should be nothing to worry about", Chalongchai said.

The rescued boys had to travel about 2 1/2 miles with oxygen tanks, making their way back to the cave's entrance using a 3-mile rope.

Change Mai governor Narongsak Osottanakorn said on Monday that the rescued boys' identities were being protected out of respect for the families of those still trapped inside the cave.

The boys' nightmare experience - trapped in claustrophobic darkness by rising waters - resonated across the globe, riveting people both in Thailand and internationally who anxiously watched the news coming from this town along the border with Myanmar.

Four boys were rescued on Sunday and they were judged as healthy as they recovered in an area hospital.

While the morning gathering is usually held outside, intermittent rain meant they stayed indoors this Monday and prayed in their classrooms.

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