6 boys safely rescued from flooded Thai cave as operation underway

6 boys safely rescued from flooded Thai cave as operation underway

6 boys safely rescued from flooded Thai cave as operation underway

Families of the four boys who were rescued on Sunday evening have not yet seen them since they were rushed to the Chiangrai Prachanukroh hospital, about 60 miles from the cave.

"All conditions are still as good as they were yesterday, " Narongsak told a news conference. Authorities say they want to get them out now, given the looming threat of more rain and floods.

Officials have said storms forecast for Chiang Rai province in Thailand's far north 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. He is still believed to be one of the nine inside the cave. Another five still await rescue, including the team's 25-year-old coach.

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

America and Britain joined the local rescue team, and sent in more than 30 American military personnel alongside pararescue and survival specialists.

The rescue teams needed about 10 hours to prepare for their next operation, involving about 90 divers in total, 50 of them from foreign countries, he said.

Eight boys and coach remain trapped.

Chiang Rai acting Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said the second phase began at 11 a.m. and authorities "hope to hear good news in the next few hours".

"I confirm that we are at war with water and time from the first day up to today", he said Saturday.

The second extraction attempt involves a larger team of Thai and foreign divers, some of whom took the places of divers who were exhausted after Sunday's extraction, he said.

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Boys from the soccer team trapped inside Tham Luang cave covered in hypothermia blankets July 3 video by Thai Navy Seal.

Amid scenes of jubilation near the Tham Luang Cave, head of the rescue operation Narongsak Osottanakorn told SBS News that officials were reassessing oxygen and other supplies before they evacuate the next batch of boys and their coach.

The generals and other officials overseeing the desperate operation to rescue 12 young soccer players and their coach from a flooded cave labyrinth in Thailand's sweltering far north were only half joking when they quipped Monday that success was in the hands of the rain god Phra Pirun.

A massive global search operation was launched and it took 10 days to locate the boys, who had taken shelter on a dry slope deep in the complex.

Ambulances and rescue crews have returned to the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in northern Thailand for a second operation to free more trapped boys.

The 16-day-long ordeal of four boys, who were part of a 13-member group, trapped in a flooded cave system in Thailand ended Sunday as they were brought out safely by rescuers. They were accompanied by professional divers throughout.

Authorities temporarily stopped their efforts Monday to replenish air tanks along the cave's treacherous exit route.

Authorities have not confirmed the identity of the first four boys rescued. Monsoon flooding cut off their escape and prevented rescuers from finding them for nearly 10 days. Efforts to pump water out of the cave have been set back by heavy downpours.

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

"Hopefully useful", he wrote in one tweet, noting that the device would arrive in 17 hours. A major concern of the rescuers is that oxygen levels in their safe space could fall dangerously low.

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