Thai cave rescue: Eight boys freed so far
Thai cave: 8 boys freed from Tham Luang in 2 days of rescues
Linh Pham/Getty Images; Samantha Lee/Business Insider
- The rescue operation to free a Thai soccer team from a cave is underway.
- Four boys were rescued Monday, the Thai navy confirmed, bringing the total rescued to eight since operations began Sunday.
- In all, 12 boys and their coach had been stuck in the Tham Luang cave network since June 23, when water levels partially flooded the escape routes.
Eight members of the soccer team stranded in a flooded cave complex in northern Thailand have been saved as rescue efforts continued for a second day.
Four boys were extracted Monday, the Royal Thai Navy confirmed. Four others were extracted Sunday.
Ten rescuers had put on scuba gear and headed into the Tham Luang cave network about 11 a.m. local time on Monday, Thai officials said.
A witness on the scene reported seeing three people being carried on stretchers from the cave into an ambulance on Monday, with the first one emerging about 4:30 p.m., Reuters said.
Channel News Asia reported seeing three helicopters flying from the cave toward the nearby city of Chiang Rai, where the rescued boys are being treated in a hospital.
A video published by the Thai PBS channel earlier on Monday also showed a person on a stretcher — most likely the first boy to be rescued on Monday — being transferred to a helicopter.
Another video from Thai PBS showed an ambulance arriving at the hospital in Chiang Rai. Channel News Asia has also reported seeing ambulances carrying the sixth and seventh boys arriving at the Chiang Rai hospital.
Rescue operations on Monday were expected to end by 9 p.m. local time.
The first four members of the Wild Boar soccer team were rescued Sunday and are in a hospital. Rescuers sought to take out the boys in the weakest condition first.
Four of the 12 boys, ages 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach remained stranded as of Monday evening.
The soccer team seen in the cave last week, before anyone was rescued. Royal Thai Navy Facebook Page via AP
The rescued boys had to travel about 2 1/2 miles with oxygen tanks, making their way back to the cave's entrance using a 3-mile rope. They were accompanied by professional divers throughout.
About 0.6 miles of the journey on Sunday was believed to be underwater, requiring the boys to wear full face masks.
Paramedics with a stretcher believed to be carrying one of the boys from the soccer team in Chiang Rai on Sunday. Chiang Rai Tourist Police/Reuters
The rescued boys are being kept in sterilized isolation units at a nearby hospital, which prohibits physical contact, and their parents have not been told they're safe.
None of the boys' identities have been publicly revealed.
Shayanne Gal/Business Insider
Though it rained again Sunday, it did not affect the water levels in the cave, said Narongsak Osatanakorn, the leader of the command center in charge of the rescue operation.
Thailand's monsoon season began over the weekend, and the region expects days of rainfall and thunderstorms throughout July and August.
Rescue workers at the cave complex, seen late Sunday. Linh Pham/Getty
The soccer team had been trapped in the underground cave network since June 23, with flash floods causing water levels to rise, making it difficult to get out.
Rescuers found them huddled on top of a dry rock about 2 1/2 miles from the cave's entrance after nine days of searching.
More to follow.
Video: Thai cave rescue: 'No kid has cave dived like this before' - BBC News
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