3rd Thai cave rescue mission underway

Annette Crawford
July 10, 2018

Elon Musk hoped to save the young soccer team trapped in a northern Thailand cave, over the weekend building a rescue submarine that he thought could act as an escape pod for the children and their coach.

Rescue leader Narongsak Osatanakorn said at a sudden press conference on Tuesday that the mission began at 10.08 a.m. local time and that everyone in the cave is expected to be rescued today.

"I want him to be healthy and come back to study quickly", Phansa Namyee, classmate of 16-year-old footballer Night said.

The four who were rescued previously were taken to a hospital in Chiang Rai for evaluation.

Eight boys have so far been rescued from the cave, four on Sunday and another four on Monday.

"We have more expertise than yesterday", he said. "But if the rain god doesn't help, then it could be challenging", Narongsak said. Four boys and their 25-year-old soccer coach remain deep in the cave, an ordeal that has lasted more than two weeks after they were trapped inside by floods.

The plight of the boys and their coach has riveted Thailand and much of the world - from the heart-sinking news they were missing to the first flickering video of the huddle of anxious yet smiling boys when they were found 10 days later by a pair of British divers.

At least nine ambulances have been waiting at the site after the leader of the rescue operation said Tuesday's aim was to bring out all five as well as a medic and three Thai Navy SEALS, who have been with the trapped boys.

The rescued boys are being quarantined in case any of them contracted infections while inside the cave. Four of them were rescued from the flooded Tham Luang cave on Sunday and the other four on Monday.

Later on Tuesday, however, BBC News quoted head of the rescue mission, Narongsak Osotthanakorn, as saying "the equipment they brought to help us is not practical with our mission".

Two among the first group were given antibiotics to treat pneumonia and are now in a "normal state'".

The boys have been in the cave since June 23 when they were exploring the cave and unexpected rain flooded the tunnels. A massive worldwide 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.

Monday's mission involved 18 divers from Thailand and overseas.

Narongsak said rescuers would meet Monday evening to plan for the next operation.

A witness near the cave told the Reuters news agency that medical workers carried four people to emergency rescue vehicles. Last week, a former Thai navy diver died while preparing for the operation.

A relative of one member of the soccer team said that the boys' families had agreed to remain at the cave until all of the boys and the coach are brought out.

Authorities on Tuesday were planning for their final push. It is rainy season in Thailand at the moment, with torrential downpours that appear out of nowhere dominating the weather patterns.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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