Second day of Thailand cave rescue

Lester Mason
July 11, 2018

The rescue operation began Sunday and has been progressing rapidly.

A helicopter flies over Tham Luang cave as the rescue operation continues on Monday.

"I'm hoping for good news today", he said.

Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda also said the boys were in good health. "And we will do it faster because we are afraid of the rain".

The mission was paused overnight on Sunday for air tanks to be replaced.

The four boys pulled from the cave Sunday in an urgent and risky operation that involved them diving through the cave's tight and twisting passages were in good health.

Their supporters have included world leaders, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and billionaire inventor Elon Musk, who tasked his team of engineers to build a "kid-sized submarine" made out of rocket parts that will be able to move the young boys through the cave's narrow passageways. New oxygen tanks were being placed in the cave before the second stage of the rescue effort began.

Unconfirmed reports that the boys' coach, Ekapol Chanthawong, 25, was among the first four to be evacuated because of the poor state of his health, were dismissed on Monday.

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

A total of eight boys have now been taken out of the Tham Luang Nang Non cave, according to the Thai navy SEAL group, which has a leading role in the rescue operation.

He was taken by helicopter and ambulance to the same hospital in Chiang Rai where the first four boys rescued Sunday by a team of worldwide and Thai dive experts are being treated.

In a statement released by the government, Mr Paojinda said officials were meeting Monday morning local time about how to extract the remaining nine people from the cave in the country's north. Mr Paojinda said more air canisters were being placed along the underwater route to where the boys and their coach have been trapped for nearly two weeks. The team hid in the cave to avoid flooding due to heavy rains, however they became trapped because water levels became to high for them to safely pass through.

Cave rescue experts consider an underwater escape to be a last resort, especially with people untrained in diving. Highlighting the extreme dangers, a former Thai Navy SEAL died Friday while replenishing the oxygen canisters laid along the route.

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 2½-mile-long escape route that twisted and turned through the cavern.

"Being discovered was a moment of elation", Auerbach said, "but that is now followed by the reality that a hard technical rescue might be necessary, which carries with it disappointment for the boys and a new set of fears". His colleagues said they would "not let the sacrifice of our friend go to waste".

Four were rescued over the weekend.

"The water level is not worrisome", he said, the paper reported. There was a heavy but brief downpour Monday morning. Monsoon flooding cut off their escape and prevented rescuers from finding them for nearly 10 days.

Here are some pictures of the dramatic mission captivating Thailand and the world. Ninety divers are involved in the rescue.

The hospitalised group requested their favourite meals as soon as they were rescued - a fried pork and basil dish.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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