4 more boys brought out of flooded Thai cave

SBS News

One boy has already been rescued on Monday, Sky News reported a Royal Thai Navy official as saying, bringing the total number of boys that have been rescued up to five.

According to NBC News, the twelve boys, ages 11 to 16, and their 25-year old coach entered the caves two weeks ago but were trapped after rain caused flooding.

When it was realised that the boys were in the cave system, divers began the process of trying to find them in the enormous area.

"The operation is being supervised by the Thai authorities".

Rescue operation commander Narongsak Osotthanakorn made the announcment on Monday afternoon.

The divers also brought out touching notes for the families written by some of the trapped boys.

The soccer team had been trapped in the underground cave network since June 23, with flash floods causing water levels to rise, making it hard to get out. Musk expects his submarine to arrive in the middle of that window - about 12 hours into the second phase of the operation.

On Monday, a witness revealed that the fifth boy was brought out of the flooded cave at around 4.30 p.m. local time (via CNN).

Thirteen medical teams were stationed outside the cave - each with its own helicopter and ambulance - one for each of 12 boys and their coach.

A family member told CNN Monday that they hadn't been told which boys had been pulled out, and who is still trapped in the cave.

Narongsak Osottanakorn, head of the rescue operation, said a team of divers went back into the cave Monday morning, local time. It takes several hours.

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

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Eight boys are still inside the cave and along with the team coach. They might use the submarine, which is built to accomodate a kid or small adult and features the liquid oxygen transfer tube of the Falcon 9 rocket as its hull, reports New Atlas.

Musk has been tweeting about the rescue effort for days and said he is "amazed by the bravery, resilience & tenacity of kids & diving team in Thailand".

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told reporters in Australia that anesthetist and experienced cave diver Richard Harris is working with the Thai medical team inside the cave "to make the decisions about the order in which the boys were to be extracted". Crews will have to replenish air tanks along the route before rescuing the others.

Eight boys are still inside the cave and along with the team coach. Authorities have said the mission could take up to four days to complete and heavy rain is forecast in the coming days.

Rescue officials are seen near Tham Luang cave in Mae Sai district, Chiang Rai, Sunday. "Today they are really catching a break from the weather" of the rainy season, Tracy said. More than 100 personnel and 18 divers worked on Monday's mission.

Musk shared via Twitter videos of his engineers testing its "kid-size submarine" - the same one that is apparently on its way to Thailand - underwater in a Los Angeles pool.

After the four boys were removed from the cave, heavy rain started falling.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha went to the cave to inspect the rescue operation later on Monday, with navy rescuers giving him a rousing cheer.

Authorities have paused the global effort to replenish air tanks along the treacherous exit route. The boys and their coach have been stranded about four kilometers inside the cave.

A source at the Chiang Rai hospital said that five emergency response doctors were awaiting the boys and a further 30 doctors were on standby.

With very few details released, parents of the remaining boys in the cave continued their agonising wait to be reunited with their sons.

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