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Thai caves latest: Four more boys extracted on second day of rescue operation

World News | Published:

Eight young footballers in total have now been removed from the site in Chiang Rai as the second day of extraction efforts ended.

Four more boys have been brought out of a flooded cave in northern Thailand, with ongoing rescue operation ended for the day, Thai officials said.

A navy Seals aide, Sitthichai Klangpattana, did not comment on the boys’ health or say how well the operation has gone at the Tham Luang Nang Non caves in Chiang Rai.

Eight of the 12 boys have now been brought out of the treacherous cave system by divers, including four who were brought out on Sunday on the first day of the operation.

The boys and their 25-year-old coach have been trapped for more than two weeks after heavy rains flooded the sprawling cave network comprising caverns connected by tight passages.

A rescue helicopter
A rescue helicopter prepares to fly to hospital (AP)

This brings the total rescued to eight, after four other boys were extracted successfully at the Tham Luang Nang Non caves.

Teams of elite divers have been carrying out a painstaking rescue at the site after 12 members of a youth football team and their coach became trapped inside the flooded caves.

An ambulance leaves the site
A total of eight people have been rescued from the site (AP)

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Thai officials remain tight-lipped about the rescue operation at the Tham Luang Nang Non cave complex in Chiang Rai, and would not comment on how many people were removed on Monday.

On Sunday, teams of divers brought out four of the trapped boys, but waited several hours before confirming they were safe.

Thailand cave search
Indian students hold candles and pray for the boys and their coach (AP)

That brings to four the number of ambulances which have left the site in Chiang Rai during the second day of a high-risk operation to bring the boys out of the labyrinthine Tham Luang Nang Non cave system.

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On Sunday, teams of divers brought out four of the trapped boys from the system, having negotiated tight passageways and flooded chambers, but waited several hours before confirming their safe rescue. Authorities have been tight-lipped about the progress of Monday’s operation.

Ambulances leave the complex
Four ambulances have left the complex so far on Monday (AP)

Soon after the ambulance was seen leaving the Tham Luang Nang Non complex in Chiang Rai with its emergency lights on, a helicopter took off.

Authorities have said helicopters are on stand-by to take any evacuees to hospital, though it is unclear who was inside the emergency vehicles. Nine people remained trapped, including the team’s coach, after four boys were rescued on Sunday.

A helicopter
Helicopters stand ready to evacuate casualties (AP)

Eight boys and their football coach remain trapped in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in the mountainous Chiang Rai region where the rescue operation resumed at 11am local time on Monday.

Officials said at a news conference that the parents of the rescued boys, whose names have not been released, have not yet been allowed to have physical contact with them, pending more extensive examination of their physical condition.

A rescuer emerges from the cave
The rescue operation is back under way (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

Officials added that overnight rain did not change water levels in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in the Chiang Raid region where the boys and coach are trapped.

Chiang Rai’s acting governor Narongsak Osatanakorn, who is overseeing the mission, said he hoped to hear good news “in the next few hours”.

Chiang Rai province acting governor Narongsak Osatanakorn
Chiang Rai province acting governor Narongsak Osatanakorn (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

Mr Musk posted videos on Twitter of the aluminium sub being tested at a swimming pool. If the tests are successful, the sub would be placed on a 17-hour flight to Thailand.

Four of the boys were rescued on Sunday.

A spokesman for Musk’s Boring Co tunnelling 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 are preparing to resume efforts to rescue the remaining eight boys and their football coach trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand.

The dangerous mission began on Sunday with four boys being delivered to the surface.

But rain is threatening to raise water levels inside the cave where the team was stranded for two weeks. There was a heavy but brief downpour on Monday morning.

New oxygen tanks are being placed in the cave before the second stage of the rescue effort begins.

Emergency workers carry a stretcher with one of the rescued boy to be transported by ambulance to a hospital
Four boys have already been rescued and sent to hospital (Chiang Rai Public Relations Office via AP)

Heavy monsoon rains lashed the mountainous Chiang Rai region, where the Tham Luang Nang Non cave is situated, for several hours overnight.

Water levels have a massive effect on the difficulty of the rescue operation. It is not immediately clear how the rains had affected levels inside the cave.

Thailand’s Meteorological Department said there was a 60% chance of rain on Monday with thunderstorms forecast throughout the week.

Thai officials say the same divers who took part in Sunday’s rescue will also conduct the next operation as they know the cave conditions and what to do.

The team is believed to include two elite British divers, Rick Stanton and John Volanthen, who were the first rescuers to reach the group.

The British Cave Rescue Council (BCRC) confirmed that seven divers from the UK with “expertise in cave diving” are assisting.

MEDIA BRIEFING NOTE Number 11 – Third of Day – 8 July 2018 Update on the rescue operation to bring the boys out of…

Posted by British Cave Rescue Council – BCRC on Sunday, July 8, 2018

Mr Anupong said divers need to place more air canisters along the underwater route to where the boys and their coach have been trapped since June 23. He said that process can take several hours.

He said the boys rescued on Sunday are strong and safe but need to undergo detailed medical checks.

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