Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Sports | By Brooke Harris

Rescuers To Extract Final Five From Thai Cave Tuesday

Rescuers To Extract Final Five From Thai Cave Tuesday

Thai soldiers walk out from the Tham Luang cave area as operations continue on July 9, 2018.

The leaders overseeing the desperate and risky rescue of 12 young soccer players and their coach from a flooded cave labyrinth in northern Thailand were only half joking when they quipped that success was in the hands of the rain god Phra Pirun. Musk said the submarine is expected to arrive in Thailand around 11 p.m. Monday, local time. "We can't visit our boys in hospital because they need to be monitored for 48 hours", Somboon told Reuters. A local government official confirmed the rescue while a police source, who also did not want to be named, said "the ninth and 10th were about 20 minutes apart".

Dr. Jedsada Chokedamrongsook, the permanent secretary of the Thai Health Ministry, said the first group of boys taken out on Sunday were aged 14 to 16.

The eight boys who have left the cave are being treated in an isolation ward in a Chiang Rai hospital.

"The kids are footballers so they have high immune systems", he added.

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Officials lavished praise on the Thai and worldwide divers who executed the risky rescue mission, guiding boys who can barely swim and have no diving experience through a treacherous 4-kilometer-long (2 1/2-mile) escape route that twisted and turned and rose and fell inside the mountain cave complex.

This final mission aims to rescue the last remaining 4 members of the team, as well as their coach.

A crack team of foreign divers and Thai Navy SEALS has been guiding the boys out through almost 4 km (2.5 miles) of sometimes submerged, pitch-dark channels.

On Monday, rescuers retrieved four more boys, bringing the total freed so far to eight.

The boys have been in the cave since June 23 when they were exploring the cave and unexpected rain flooded the tunnels. Rescue operations have halted for the night and will restart on Tuesday.

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Monday's operation began at 11 a.m. and took nine hours, two fewer than Sunday, with rescuers helped by the experience they have accumulated, Narongsak told a news conference punctuated with rounds of applause. Eight children have been rescued.

The third phase of an operation to rescue four remaining boys and their football coach trapped inside a flooded Thai cave is underway.

The ups and downs of the rescue bid have entranced Thailand and also fixated a global audience, drawing support from celebrities as varied as US President Donald Trump, football star Lionel Messi and tech guru Elon Musk.

Last week, Musk tweeted that he was sending a team of SpaceX and Boring Company engineers to Chiang Rai in northern Thailand on Saturday to help rescue efforts, supplying technology such as Tesla Powerwall batteries and pumps for removing water. Musk posted several videos to his Twitter account that show the submarine being tested in a swimming pool. Four of them were rescued from the flooded Tham Luang cave on Sunday and the other four on Monday.

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