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Amid jubilation, 4 more boys rescued from flooded Thai cave

10 July, 2018, 14:01 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
  • Rescue crews ready themselves to go back into the cave

Two of them possibly have a lung infection but all eight are generally "healthy and smiling", he said.

Thai officials started the rescue operation on Sunday as weather experts predicted more rain in the coming weeks.

Twelve members of the team and their coach became trapped on June 23, although rescuers managed to free the first eight boys on Sunday and Monday. Four boys and their coach remain in the cave, but it's unclear if authorities will try to extract them in a group of four or try to take the five out in a single mission.

"They (all the boys) will have to stay in the hospital for one week to wait for their results and to see if anything changes", he said.

Jesada said they were uncertain what type of infections the boys could face "because we have never experienced this kind of issue from a deep cave". The news comes after four boys were rescued when the operation began on Sunday.

However, scattered monsoon rains continued to risk percolating through the limestone cave walls to flood the tunnels with fast-flowing water. "We can see that everything is okay as they're eating well", said Thongchai Lertwilairattanapong, Inspector General of the Public Health Ministry. Bancha Duriyapan told a news conference punctuated by applause from the dozens of Thai and foreign journalists and others in attendance.

Torrential rain had not affected conditions for the rescue operation. "So I've been asking for three days".

The final push to bring home four boys and their soccer coach by a crew of worldwide and Thai divers began in earnest on Tuesday.

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"The kids are footballers, are strong and have high immunity", Jesada said when asked why they survived so long.

Their friends were full of optimism - and worry. Rescue mission chief and former governor of the Chiang Rai province Narongsak Osottanakorn said the boys were not being named out of respect for the families who still had sons trapped in the cave.

"Even when my friends have left the cave, I'm anxious about their physical well-being".

People around the world are following the developments in Thailand.

Fresh rains on Tuesday added urgency to the final stages of the treacherous rescue bid, several kilometres inside a mountain and through flooded, tight corridors. More worrying, however, oxygen levels in the cave were falling.

The 31cm-wide custom submarine would make the boys passive participants in the rescue and could potentially shorten the journey, which took divers a total of nine hours in the second successful rescue operation on Monday.

"We have more expertise than yesterday", he said. It ended with their fighting cheer, adopted from the U.S. Navy: "Hooyah!" The diver, the first fatality of the rescue effort, was working in a volunteer capacity and died on a mission to place air canisters along the passage to where the boys are, necessary for divers to safely travel the five- to six-hour route. The safety of the divers, who have meticulously planned the mission, is also paramount. "We should hear good news again", Narongsak said. "But if Phra Pirun doesn't help, then it might be a little late".

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