Phase two of Thai cave rescue underway

Lucy Bush
July 11, 2018

After Musk received an outpouring of gratitude for his rescue plans, he replied: "Thanks, we've not done anything useful yet. And we will do it faster because we are afraid of the rain".

It had been assumed that the four extracted yesterday were boys, but it emerged that the fourth person taken out was the coach, Mr Ekapol.

Somboon Sompiangjai, 38, the father of one of the trapped boys, said parents had been told by rescuers that the "strongest children" would be brought out first.

Reuters, citing an unnamed source at a nearby hospital, reported that the boys' conditions were "not bad" but will be monitored.

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

Authorities have said the mission could take three or four days to complete.

The boys are said to be generally in good health but doctors are still evaluating whether they could have picked up any risky infections, such as the potentially lethal leptospirosis, while inside the damp cave for two weeks.

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Rescue teams had installed a static rope along the dive path, giving the boys a guide, and experienced divers were reportedly positioned at various points along the way for assistance.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha visited the cave to inspect the operation, with navy rescuers giving him a rousing cheer.

Thai officials have confirmed that they are prioritising the weaker boys first, in order to ensure they get quick treatment.

He told reporters the four rescued boys were taken to the hospital in the town of Chiang Rai, the provincial capital, for evaluation, and the next phase of the operation would resume after about 10-20 hours.

Four boys were brought out of the cave Sunday, according to Thai navy SEALs, who were leading the rescue operation.

The group was found nine days later in a cramped chamber 2.5 miles inside the cave system by two British volunteer rescue divers.

On Friday, the death of a former Thai navy SEAL underscored the risks.

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Giving an update on the four boys pulled from the cave Sunday, Narongsak said, "This morning, they said they were hungry and wanted to eat khao pad grapao" - a popular Thai rice dish of meat stir-fried with basil and chili peppers.

"Today was the best situation - in terms of the children's health, water and our rescue readiness", said Mr Narongsak, now governor of Phayao province but still head of the joint command centre coordinating the rescue.

The four boys who were evacuated on Sunday are said to be doing well.

The oxygen ports and nose cone fitted to the device would prevent damages when it comes in contact with rocks, he said.

Teams have used high-powered pumps to empty more than 100 million of gallons of water out of the cave.

The SEALs, which have stationed divers and medics with the boys for the last week, posted a message on their Facebook page on Sunday promising to bring the group back safely.

The team became trapped on June 23 when they set out to explore the cave after soccer practice and rains flooded the tunnels, trapping them inside. Monsoon flooding blocked their exit route and prevented rescuers from reaching them for almost 10 days. More than 1,000 journalists from across the world have descended on northern Thailand to report the story. The Daily Telegraph is reporting that the sixth was rescued just two hours later.

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Authorities said a medical team was assessing whether to reunite the boys with their parents soon. The images showed a team of SpaceX engineers testing the device in the swimming pool of a Los Angeles high school. If successful, the sub would be placed on a 17-hour flight to Thailand. Since then, an global team of engineers, rescuers and divers has been delivering supplies and food to the children and their coach ― and mulling ways to best help them escape. However, it is unclear if the device is part of any current rescue plans.

Other reports by Info About Network

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