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Thai cave rescue sees four more boys freed

10 July, 2018, 07:42 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
  • The hospital where some of the boys were taken

Chiang Rai governor and operation chief Narongsak Osottanakorn confirmed at a press conference Sunday that he had met the boys and they were in "perfect" health.

Rescuers working at a cave site in northern Thailand have suspended operations for the day after bringing four more boys out of the flooded cave system on Monday.

Four more boys were pulled out on Monday by divers from Thailand's Tham Luang cave complex, where 12 soccer players and their soccer coach have been trapped for more than two weeks.

Boys from the soccer team trapped inside Tham Luang cave covered in hypothermia blankets react to the camera in Chiang Rai, Thailand, in this still image taken from a July 3, 2018 video by Thai Navy Seal. They are being quarantined in hospital but are said to be in "good health'". Days after the stranded team was found, a former diver in the Thai SEAL unit died after volunteering to enter the caves and place air tanks along the path.

The team still faces a "war against water" and a short window to rescue the youngsters, as monsoon rain has continued to fall.

"We thank the God of the rain".

"So, it's not so much how they'll be feeling in the immediate aftermath - we would expect to see some strong reactions - or not - it depends upon many factors I don't know about". Those conditions won't last if the rain resumes, he said.

People across Thailand cheered the rescue operation, including at the Mae Sai Prasitsart school where six of the trapped boys are students. Last Monday they were discovered huddled on a narrow rock shelf deep within the flooded cave system.

The first four boys were taken out of the cave Sunday, while another five emerged on Monday. Four additional boys, along with their 25-year-old soccer coach, remain in the cave and await the next round of rescues, CNN reported.

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Their friends were full of optimism - and worry.

"Even when my friends have left the cave, I'm anxious about their physical well-being". Relatives were able to see them through a glass partition, Narongsak said. Medical exams for the four boys began before they even left the cave. When the missing soccer team was located on July 2, rescue medics who reached them evaluated all the boys and their coach and divided them into three categories: red for critical condition, yellow for serious condition and green for stable condition.

9News reporter Ben Avery, who is on the ground in Chiang Rai, said the rescue mission is set to kick off again this afternoon around 4pm local time or 7pm AEST.

He said he sent a small submarine to Thailand; it is expected to arrive Monday night local time.

More worrying, however, oxygen levels in the chamber where the boys sought refuge were falling.

All preparations, including replacing the oxygen cylinders positioned along the route out in the cave, take at least 20 hours, he said.

"We have more expertise than yesterday", he said.

The Thai authorities have refused to name any of the rescued boys until all of them are out. It takes several hours.

The safety of the divers, who have meticulously planned the mission, is also paramount.

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