Thailand rescue: 4 more boys brought out of flooded cave

Second day of Thailand cave rescue

Thailand's Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda has revealed the same divers who rescued the four boys will also conduct the next operation due to their knowledge of the terrain.

Thailand's Health Secretary said last week that on arrival at the hospital the boys would need to be quarantined for one to two days before being allowed to see their families.

The mission was paused overnight on Sunday for air tanks to be replaced.

The eight rescued boys were recuperating in a hospital from their ordeal huddled together on a tiny patch of higher ground where they had sought refuge after a rainstorm flooded the massive Tham Luan Nang Non cave complex as they were exploring it after soccer practice on June 23.

Each boy is being accompanied by two divers through the dark and complex cave system.

That makes for eight of the 13 people who have been trapped under increasingly unsafe conditions since late last month.

A truck carrying oxygen tanks arrives outside the Tham Luang cave complex, where 12 schoolboys and their soccer coach are trapped inside a flooded cave, in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, July 8, 2018.

Rescue mission chief Narongsak on Monday said the operation on the second day started at 11am.

Authorities declined to say how many boys would be extracted on Monday.

Narongsak said Saturday that experts told him new rain could shrink the unflooded space where the boys are sheltering to just 10 square metres (108 square feet).

The first four boys, from the group of 13, including the coach, were rescued yesterday. Four boys and their coach remained inside the cave.

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Eight boys are still inside the cave and along with the team coach.

The risky bid to rescue the boys - aged between 11 and 16 - got going again hours earlier on Monday after a break to replenish oxygen supplies and make other preparations deep inside the cave complex in northern Thailand's Chiang Rai province.

Authorities have been tightlipped about the progress of Monday's operation.

There was no immediate word on their conditions.

The second group of four rescued on Monday are aged 12 to 14.

The fifth boy was taken by helicopter to Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital in the provincial capital Chiang Rai, while the sixth remained inside a medical tent before being moved.

Medical teams previously said concerns included hypothermia and an airborne lung infection known as "cave disease", which is caused by bat and bird droppings.

"We've used all the oxygen", Osatanakorn told reporters. "We can't visit our boys in hospital because they need to be monitored for 48 hours", Somboon told Reuters.

Narongsak said ahead of the rescue dive that recent mild weather and falling water levels had created optimal conditions for an underwater evacuation.

Officials have said storms forecast for Chiang Rai province in Thailand's far north had factored into their decision to go ahead with a complicated and risky plan for the boys aged between 11 and 16 and their coach to dive out of the cave. The mood was fairly relaxed among the soldiers, medics, engineers and volunteers in yellow shirts that milled around.

The most touching note came from one whose name was not clear: "I'm doing fine, but the air is a little cold, but don't worry".

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