Eight boys rescued from flooded Thai caves, now up to 'rain god'

Eight boys rescued from flooded Thai caves, now up to 'rain god'

Eight boys rescued from flooded Thai caves, now up to 'rain god'

Families of the four boys who were rescued on Sunday evening have not yet seen them since they were rushed to the Chiangrai Prachanukroh hospital, about 60 miles from the cave. Relatives were able to see them through a glass partition.

Four Thai boys have been freed from the cave and taken to hospital via helicopter.

Rescuers have suggested that it may take up to two days for the rescue to be completed, with each boy being brought out individually.

The four boys guided from the cave Sunday in an urgent and risky operation that involved them diving through the cave's dark, tight and twisting passages were happy and in good health, authorities said.

The death on Friday of a former Thai navy Seal, Saman Gunan, underlined the risks.

Authorities said the rescue team included divers from "all around the world, mainly from Europe".

Four of the boys were rescued on Sunday, and authorities said the next phase could begin any time within a 10-hour window that began about 7 a.m. Monday. Eight of the boys have been rescued so far, and rescuers are now gearing up to get the final four boys and their coach out. He said that process can take several hours.

The experts say if the boys are not rescued over the next few days, they may have to wait inside the cave for months before the rains ease up and another rescue attempt is made.

The acting governor of Chiang Rai state, Narongsak Osatanakorn, said that divers are unsure whether all five can be rescued in one or more missions. The dive to rescue the boys in the Tham Luang Cave area is risky and requires divers to hold them close and dress them in scuba gear, Reuters reported.

The rescue operation began on Sunday, and four people were rescued, a further four were rescued on Monday, with six boys and their football coach left in the cave.

The letter signed by Infantino invited the team and their coach to the World Cup final in Russian Federation on Sunday (NZT 3am Monday), should they be rescued in time and were healthy enough to travel to Moscow.

The Thai official leading the operation to save the 12 boys and their coach from the flooded cave in northern Thailand said the rescue has been going "better than expected".

Thai rescue team members walk inside a cave where 12 boys and their soccer coach have been trapped since June 23.

He was taken by helicopter and ambulance to the same hospital in Chiang Rai where the first four boys were rescued on Sunday. It takes the divers about eight hours to get into the cave, reach the boys, and bring them back out. First of all, four of the boys were successfully extracted from the cave system.

But with oxygen levels inside dropping to unsafe lows and the prospect of heavy rains flooding the area completely, authorities decided they had to move quickly, and take the group out through the water-filled tunnels.

Rescue operation paused for 10 hours as teams prepare.

Somboon Sompiangjai, 38, the father of one of the trapped boys, said parents were told by rescuers ahead of Sunday's operation the "strongest children" would be brought out first.

There had been efforts to pump the water out but those were set back every time it rained.

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

An update Saturday from the Thai navy said three navy SEALs were with the boys and their coach, one a doctor.

The other, and perhaps more worrying, was that oxygen levels in the complex were falling close to unsafe levels.

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