Thai cave rescue: Four more boys pulled from flooded cave

Jacob Goldberg 
the relatives’ room at the camp is empty

Amid scenes of jubilation near the Tham Luang Cave, head of the rescue operation Narongsak Osottanakorn told SBS News that officials were reassessing oxygen and other supplies before they evacuate the next batch of boys and their coach.

Ambulances parked on standby outside the hospital in Chiang Rai province. A witness says one person left the cave on a stretcher and was put into an ambulance.

Sunday's rescue mission was described as a success by Thai officials.

Their escape led to an explosion of jubilation on social media in Thailand as the rescued boys were rushed to hospital.

On Monday afternoon, Osatanakorn said the same group of divers involved in Sunday's rescue operation had entered the cave at 11 a.m. local time to rescue the group still stuck inside.

Eight people remain trapped in the cave.

Mr Narongsak said that experts told him new rain could shrink the unflooded space where the boys are sheltering to just 10 square meters.

USA Today reported that the rescue began Sunday because a break in the rain had lowered water to the lowest levels since the boys were found.

"If we wait and the rain comes in the next few days we will be exhausted again from pumping and our readiness would drop".

Rescuing the remaining boys and coach could take two to four days, and depended on the weather, an army commander involved in the mission said.

A heavy but brief downpour hit the area Monday morning, but authorities said that did not change the water level in the cave, as workers continue to pump water out.

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The unsafe underwater rescues - considered a last resort - involve two divers accompanying each of the boys, none of whom had experience diving before they were found on July 2.

Hospital authorities said the first group of four boys rescued on Sunday were in good health and they were mulling letting their parents meet their wards from Tuesday but from a glass door separation.

"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. He added, "They still need to be kept away from their parents and others due to fear about infection".

The boys, ages 11-16, and their 25-year-old coach became stranded when they went exploring in the cave after a practice game June 23.

The rescue operation is estimated to take ten hours, and end by 9 p.m.

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.

He had said fresh air tanks needed to be laid along the underwater route.

When looking at an animation of the cave rescue, Brick said, "The ceiling dips down enough in certain areas that it forms a waterproof seal when those passages fill up".

The Facebook page of the Thai Navy SEALs, who have been central to the rescue operation, was updated Monday night to say "two days, eight boars" - a reference to the Wild Boars, the name of the boys' soccer team. An international-level rescue mission began soon after, with hundreds of experts and military personnel from various countries arriving at the spot.

There were several concerns that prompted authorities to move forward with the plan to dive the boys out.

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