Rescuers begin operation to extract Thai boys trapped in cave

Clyde Nash
July 9, 2018

Authorities in northern Chiang Rai province began the unsafe mission to bring out the 12 boys and their soccer coach earlier on Sunday.

"Today was the best day, the best situation in terms of the weather, the health of the boys, our water management for our rescue effort", the head of the rescue operation, Narongsak Osottanakorn, told a news conference.

Six boys have exited a flooded cave in northern Thailand where they have been trapped for more than two weeks, a senior member of rescue operation's medical team said on Sunday, according to multiple reports.

Monsoon flooding had initially cut off their escape, and rescuers were unable to find them for more than a week.

Mild weather and falling water levels over the past few days had created optimal conditions for an underwater evacuation that won't last if it rains again, Narongsak had said.

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The group were found inside the cave by British rescue divers on Monday, 10 days after they went missing.

Loosely translated, it reads "Full face masks; two divers accompanying one boy; guided by rope. They have not been moved to Chiang Rai hospital yet".

The boys and the coach will dive out of the cave one at a time, each accompanied by a member of a team of worldwide and Thai divers, officials said. He says the divers went in at 10 a.m. local time on Sunday and the boys will gradually come out accompanied by two divers each.

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

Officials worked to supply the 12 boys and their coach with oxygen through a 3 mile (5 kilometer) cable running through the cave's winding chambers on Friday.

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The identity of the first boys is unknown, as if whether any more are following soon.

Thai rescuers are being assisted by an global team comprising experts from China, Australia, the United States and Britain.

Initial euphoria over finding the boys alive quickly turned into deep anxiety as rescuers struggled to find a way to get them out.

The expedition started normally but things took a wrong turn when the group reportedly got stranded in the dark tunnels by a sudden inflow of water into the caves from the heavy rain. One boy's note said: "I'm doing fine, but the air is a little cold, but don't worry".

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Other reports by Info About Network

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