4 more boys rescued from Thai cave, bringing total to 8

Cheryl Sanders
July 11, 2018

An ambulance carrying one of the boys rescued from the Tham Luang cave network on Sunday.

Five of their teammates and their assistant coach remained in the cave on Monday night pending rescue.

The fifth boy was taken by helicopter to Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital in the provincial capital Chiang Rai, while the sixth remained inside a medical tent before being moved. It was unclear who was inside the ambulance or the helicopter.

"All conditions are still as good as they were yesterday", Chiang Rai acting Gov. Narongsak Osattanakorn said, as relayed by the AP.

Rescue workers dived deep inside a flooded Thai cave for a second straight day on Monday in a treacherous bid to save a trapped group of young footballers, with the mission chief promising more "good news" after four of the 13 were saved.

Officials said on Sunday that it may "take days" to rescue all 12 boys and their coach.

Unconfirmed reports that the boys' coach, Ekapol Chanthawong, 25, was among the first four to be evacuated because of the poor state of his health, were dismissed on Monday.

The only way to bring the boys and their coach out of the cave is by navigating dark and tight passageways filled with muddy water and strong currents, as well as oxygen-depleted air.

Rescue efforts are already underway, however, and may be complete by the time Musk's submarine arrives. Crews will have to replenish air tanks along the route before rescuing the others.

Thailand's Health Secretary said last week that on arrival at the hospital the boys would need to be quarantined for one to two days before being allowed to see their families.

The boys and their coach had been stranded in Tham Luang Nang Non since June 23 when they went exploring in the cave after a scrimmage. He said that process can take several hours. The diver, the first fatality of the rescue effort, was working in a volunteer capacity and died on a mission to place oxygen canisters along the route., necessary for divers to safely travel the five to six hour route to where the boys are.

Experienced cave rescue experts consider an underwater escape a last resort, especially with people untrained in diving, as the boys are. It is a race against the clock with heavy rain expected in coming days, which would again dangerously flood the tunnels.

Officials have said storms forecast for the province had factored into their decision to go ahead with a complicated and risky plan to have the boys and their coach dive out of the cave.

Thailand's Meteorological Department said there was a 60 per cent chance of rain with more thunderstorms forecast throughout the week.

On Monday afternoon, Osatanakorn said the same group of divers involved in Sunday's rescue operation had entered the cave at 11 a.m. local time to rescue the group still stuck inside. Billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk was the latest to pitch in. If the tests were successful, the sub was to be placed on a 17-hour flight to Thailand. Authorities continued to refuse to release details about the identities or conditions of the four who had escaped. The hospital's eighth floor was reserved entirely for the soccer team, whose players range from ages 11 to 16.

The boys have been brought out in pairs, each guided by two expert divers. They were quickly transported to a hospital in the town of Chiang Rai, the provincial capital.

Among those are U.S. military partners, British cave diving experts - including the two men who first located the boys a week ago - and rescue workers from Australia, China and other countries.

The entire group had been trapped for more than two weeks.

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