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

Thai cave rescue: Eight freed boys given clean bill of health

Thai cave rescue: Eight freed boys given clean bill of health

Jedsada said two of the boys had possible lung infections. "We had imagined all sorts of catastrophic situations - equipment breaking, children panicking", he said, adding that the officials had backup options in mind in case anything falls apart.

A crack team of foreign divers and Thai Navy SEALS guided the boys during a nine-hour operation through almost 4 km (2.5 miles) of sometimes submerged, pitch-dark channels from where they have been trapped for more than a fortnight.

"The factors are as good as yesterday, and the rescue team is the same team with a few replacements for those exhausted", Narongsak Osatanakorn, the governor of Chiang Rai province who's leading the operation, said Monday, The Guardian reported.

Four of them were rescued from the flooded Tham Luang cave on Sunday and the other four on Monday.

The second shift of the rescue effort to evacuate the trapped soccer team saw a team of 18 Thai and worldwide divers guide four boys about 2 1/2 miles (4 kilometres) to the cave's entrance using a 3-mile (4.8 kilometre) rope on Monday. "But if the rain god doesn't help, then it could be challenging", Narongsak said.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha visited the cave to inspect the operation and was quoted by Narongsak as saying he didn't want to see this kind of incident happen again on Thai soil.

The first of the Wild Boars soccer team emerged from the cave at 5.37pm local time.

British divers found the 13 a week ago. The eight boys were rescued from the flooded cave.

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The Thai rescue effort has been assisted by experts from around the world, and the death of a former Thai Navy SEAL diver who ran out of oxygen in the cave on Friday underscored the dangers of the mission. "I want to send my moral support for all involved" in the rest of the mission.

The eight rescued boys were recuperating in a hospital from their ordeal huddling on a dry patch inside the Tham Luan Nang Non cave that became flooded by monsoon rains while they were exploring it June 23.

Information on the rescue operation, the health of those rescued - and their identities - has been tightly guarded by Thai authorities. Bancha Duriyapan told a news conference punctuated by applause from the dozens of Thai and foreign journalists and others in attendance.

"We have not been told which child has been brought out".

All of the boys had shed a kilogram or two while trapped in the cave but were now able to get out of their hospital beds and walk around.

"I'm hoping for good news", he said.

Soccer's governing body, FIFA, has invited the boys to the World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday.

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