Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

4 rescued from Thai cave in risky operation; 9 remain inside

4 rescued from Thai cave in risky operation; 9 remain inside

Eight boys and the coach remain trapped, and the ordeal has been a closely watched news story around the globe.

A complex and risky rescue operation is underway, involving the boys - many of whom can't swim - diving through the cave's dark, tight and twisting passages.

Now, more than two weeks after their children became trapped in a flooded cave, some of the families are finally celebrating their return. Last Monday they were discovered huddled on a narrow rock shelf deep within the flooded cave system.

Officials said the rescue could take four days to complete.

The second operation started at 11 a.m. local time Monday.

His announcement, at a news conference more than an hour after helicopters and ambulances were seen rushing from the cave area, drew cheers and applause.

The daring and risky bid to rescue the boys - aged between 11 and 16 - was suspended by the mission chief late on Sunday to replenish oxygen supplies and make new preparations, which he said would take at least 10 hours.

As per reports, the boys have been trapped in the cave since June 23. The fellow classmates and teachers from the same school have described to the press the preparations they have made for the boys.

As the world holds its collective breath and prays for the rescue of the remaining boys soccer team trapped in a cave in northern Thailand, gutsy rescuers are taking a break.

Locals in Mae Sai and across the country have been glued to their television screens, watching every twist and turn of the dramatic search.

Their escape led to an explosion of jubilation on social media in Thailand as the rescued boys were rushed to hospital.

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Those still inside the cave are perched on a small muddy ledge 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) inside the cave complex, surrounded by floodwater and with a limited supply of oxygen.

More than 100 exploratory holes were also bored into the mountainside in an attempt to open a second evacuation route and avoid forcing the boys into the risky dive. One option to get them out of the cave is to teach them to dive and swim out of the cave.

"It's highly unsafe, it's very precarious and our thoughts are not only with the boys but also with the diving and rescue teams that are assisting", Bishop told the Nine network on Monday.

"I beg Phra Pirun because the Meteorological Department said that from Monday on there will be continuous rain", Bancha said.

Osotthanakorn said the boys were hungry and asking for a Thai dish of beef with basil and chilli. He said they would send it to Thailand Sunday evening. "We have to quarantine them for a little while due to fear of infection". Heavy rain has struck the region intermittently over the last three days and further downpours could set back draining efforts at the cave. Visitors would need to wear sanitized clothes and stay two meters away from the children.

Authorities have also declined to provide the names and identities of the boys who were rescued.

They also wanted to express their gratitude to the rescue teams working to free Prajak and his teammates. He said that process can take several hours.

The dramatic and risky rescue at the Tham Luang cave in the northern province of Chiang Rai was launched on Sunday and four boys were brought out that day. They were quickly transported to a hospital in the town of Chiang Rai, the provincial capital. Onlookers were seen watching and cheering as they drove by.

In an worldwide rescue mission that has gripped the entire world, at least four members of a boys' soccer team were freed on Sunday from a cave in northern Thailand where they had been trapped for more than two weeks.

The rescue operation involved 50 foreign divers and 40 Thai divers.

The story of the "Wild Boars" soccer team, who first ventured into the caves more than two weeks ago before flood waters trapped them inside, has gripped Thai and worldwide media. "When they're deprived of light and their comfort issues from home there can be psychological sequelae that have to be addressed, and we've seen that before with people who have been held hostage or in kind of hard environmental situations", Ashton said, referring to the medical term for the after effects of a traumatic incident.

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