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techkenyot.com February 20, 2019


Eight Thai boys rescued from cave

11 July 2018, 08:10 | Glen Norman

Source Associated Press

The 12 boys appear to be skinny but in good spirits during their ordeal

A total of four ambulances have left the area around the flooded cave in northern Thailand where members of a youth soccer team have been trapped for more than two weeks, suggesting eight of the 13 trapped people have now been extracted.

Thai military medical personnel walking inside a restricted area as preparations are made to transport rescued boys from Tham Luang cave to a hospital.

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

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

"The mission has resumed", a government official closely involved in the mission told Reuters, declining to be identified. Each boy is being accompanied by two divers and it takes hours to negotiate the flooded tunnels through the dark, murky water.

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

Extracting everyone could take up to four days, but the initial success raised hopes that could be done.

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Then the problem became how to get them out as more rainy season showers loomed.

Though it rained again Sunday, it did not affect the water levels in the cave, said Narongsak Osatanakorn, the leader of the command center in charge of the rescue operation.

Thirteen foreign divers and five members of Thailand's elite navy SEAL unit make up the main team guiding the boys to safety through narrow, submerged passageways that claimed the life of a former Thai navy diver on Friday.

Four more boys were pulled from a deep cave in Thailand Monday, leaving four boys and their adult soccer coach underground in rising floodwaters.

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

Thai premier Prayut Chan-O-Cha was also due to visit the rescue operation late on Monday.

There was no word on the condition of any of the people brought out on Monday.

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The rescued boys were being treated by medics at the field hospital, and were later airlifted to a larger nearby hospital.

Among those are USA military partners, British cave diving experts - including the two men who first located the boys a week ago - and rescue workers from Australia, China and other countries.

All were taken to a hospital. Relatives were able to see them through a glass partition, the governor said.

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

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.

'We have not been told which child has been brought out.

"The weather conditions and other environments today are as good as yesterday".

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Eight boys and the coach remained inside the Tham Luang Nang Non cave as authorities paused the worldwide effort to replenish air tanks along the treacherous exit route.



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