Eight now free: Four more boys rescued from flooded Thailand cave
10 July, 2018, 01:32 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
The next day (7th July), it was decided by the rescue operation chief Narongsak Osottanakorn that it was not yet safe for the boys to dive out of the cave.
"The operation is being supervised by the Thai authorities".
The same 12 divers, including several from the United Kingdom with "expertise in cave diving", conducted Monday's operation, and it was expected to be a quicker rescue than on Sunday as the divers are now familiar with the circumstances.
Narongsak would not identify the rescued boys. Nine people remain trapped in the cave.
The world is captivated by the plight of a Thai soccer team trapped in a flooded cave - and so, too, is billionaire inventor Elon Musk.
Thirteen medical teams were stationed outside the cave - each with its own helicopter and ambulance - one for each of 12 boys and their coach. "Hooyah", the Thai Navy SEALS wrote on their Facebook page Monday, referring to the boys' soccer team, the Wild Boars. Medical staff involved in the rescue mission told Reuters their first assessments when the boys arrive at the hospital will focus on their breathing, signs of hypothermia and an airborne lung infection known as "cave disease" which is caused by bat and bird droppings and can be fatal if untreated and allowed to spread to other parts of the body. But the rains stopped on Monday, and the mission resumed at 11 a.m. local time.
Eight boys are still inside the cave and along with the team coach.
Earlier on Monday, divers placed new oxygen tanks along the way out of the underground network as part of preparations to repeat yesterday's mission. The British Cave Rescue Council said earlier this week they were sending five "key cave rescuers" to Thailand, some of whom were divers. Rescue crews are anxious about the amount of air the trapped children are using, which is being drained rapidly.
The same divers who managed to rescue the first group of four boys on Sunday were involved in the second operation.
Officials said Monday that despite rain Monday morning, the weather was holding out so far.
Anupong said divers need to place more air canisters along the underwater route to where the boys and their coach have been trapped since June 23.
All preparations, including replacing the oxygen cylinders positioned along the route out in the cave, take at least 20 hours, he said. Heavy rain has struck the region intermittently over the last three days and further downpours could set back draining efforts at the cave.
It was not immediately clear Monday how the overnight rains had impacted water levels inside the flooded cave.
"We're ready for the operation today", said Narongsak, who said the weather and the water levels in the cave are good. Musk posted several videos to his Twitter account that show the submarine being tested in a swimming pool.
Witnesses say the boys freed Monday were treated at a make-shift hospital at the site, before being taken to a local hospital.
However, after news of the rescue of four boys emerged, Musk tweeted, "Hopefully useful". The four boys survived the treacherous journey through the Tham Luang caves, all emerging to walk unscathed into the hands of waiting medics. They are then taken to hospital in Chiang Rai.
With very few details released, parents of the remaining boys in the cave continued their agonising wait to be reunited with their sons.
Rescuers have been navigating a risky and complicated plan to get the children out under the threat of heavy rain and rising water underground.
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