'Hooyah' - Jubilation as boys confirmed rescued from flooded Thai cave

'Hooyah' - Jubilation as boys confirmed rescued from flooded Thai cave

'Hooyah' - Jubilation as boys confirmed rescued from flooded Thai cave

News of the release of the first four children on Sunday was greeted with elation in Thailand but rescuers say there are still significant risks with a majority of the boys still to undertake the risky 3.2km (2 mile) journey through the jagged, narrow and muddy cave. Eight boys and their soccer coach remain inside.

Authorities had said that incoming monsoon rains that could send water levels in the cave rising, coupled with falling oxygen levels in the enclosed space, added to the urgency of getting those trapped out.

Four of the boys were rescued on Sunday, and authorities are now working to replenish air tanks along the cave's treacherous exit route.

Her husband Somboon said parents had been told they would not be able to visit their sons once rescued.

The group had gone exploring in the massive Tham Luang Nang Non cave on June 23 after a soccer practice, and were cut off when a rainstorm flooded the cave. According to ABC news, the courageous rescuer lost consciousness on his way out of one of the passageways because he did not have enough oxygen in his tank to make it back.

Medical workers" first assessments will focus on the boys' breathing, signs of hypothermia and an airborne lung infection known as "cave disease' which is caused by bat and bird droppings and can be fatal if it is untreated and spreads to other parts of the body. "With our informal assessment, we found that most of the boys are in green condition", Osatanakorn told reporters.

Narongsak Osottanakorn, the rescue mission chief, said that the same divers who carried out the operation yesterday are also involved in the second phase, along with additional personnel.

Officials lavished praise on the Thai and global divers who, in pairs of two, executed the unsafe rescue mission, guiding the boys, who could barely swim and had no diving experience, through a treacherous 4-kilometer-long (2 1/2-mile) escape route that twisted and turned through the cavern.

The same divers who took part in Sunday's rescue of four boys trapped in a flooded cave will also conduct the next operation as they know the cave conditions.


The rescue mission is still underway. And while oxygen is placed along the road, one experienced ex-Thai Navy SEAL diver lost his life last week while replacing the oxygen canisters.

Rescuers had planned to take a 10- to 20-hour pause in the rescue efforts to replenish the cave with oxygen and give the team of 18 divers leading the boys on the hard journey a chance to rest.

Officials are constantly pumping water out of the caves, and Sunday gave the rescue crews the best chance of recovering more survivors after days of decent weather and pumping reduced flood levels.

Osatanakorn said a 1.6km-long passage from the cave entrance to the third chamber, a staging ground for the mission, was "mostly walkable", adding: "Although there are some slightly hard parts [where] we have to bend or crawl, we can say that we can just walk through it".

The rescue teams had rehearsed the plan for several days, Narongsak said, and had managed to drain the water level in the cave considerably, but needed to move fast. Earlier efforts to pump out water from the cave have been set back every time there has been a heavy downpour.

Somboon Sompiangjai, 38, the father of one of the trapped boys, said parents were told by rescuers ahead of Sunday's operation the "strongest children" would be brought out first. They are all members of a youth soccer team called the Wild Boars.

The ordeal has riveted Thailand and captured the world's attention. The search and rescue operation has involved dozens of global experts and rescuers, including a USA military team.

A spokesman for Musk's Boring Co tunnelling unit, which has four engineers at the cave, said Thai officials had requested the device.

The current rescue operation is not, Tracy said, "the preferred option".

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