Thai Cave Rescue Operation Suspended After 4 More Boys Freed

Tuesday, 10 Jul, 2018

Four children who were rescued have been safely delivered by helicopter to the hospital in Chiang Rai, head of the rescue operations said.

When Sgt. -Maj. Saman Gunan, a former Thai navy Seal, died while laying oxygen tanks along the route out of the cave, people grieved and became fearful about what could lie ahead for the team.

It's unclear whether Thai officials will opt to use Musk's submarine to rescue the four remaining boys and their soccer coach. They were missing for nine days before being discovered by British divers last week.

"The operation is being supervised by the Thai authorities".

But the chances of monsoon rains sending torrents of water into the cave and making the rescue effort too risky is never far from the minds of everyone involved in the operation.

The boys and their coach had been stranded in Tham Luang Nang Non when they went exploring in the cave after a scrimmage.

The world is captivated by the plight of a Thai soccer team trapped in a flooded cave - and so, too, is billionaire inventor Elon Musk.

A total of eight boys have now been brought out of the cave complex.

The challenges 12 boys and their soccer coach are facing as they make their way out of a flooded cave in Thailand are more mental than physical, Canadian cave divers and rescuers said Monday. It was unclear who was inside the ambulance or the helicopter.

Rescuing the remaining boys and coach could take two to four days, and depended on the weather, an army commander involved in the mission said.

Authorities have not confirmed the identity of the rescued boys and some of the parents said they had not even been told who had been rescued.

The rescued boys are now being kept in sterilized isolation units at a nearby hospital, which prohibits physical contact, and their parents have not been told that they're safe. Musk said the submarine is expected to arrive in Thailand around 11 p.m. Monday, local time.

Eight boys are still inside the cave and along with the team coach. The operation to get them out was supposed to resume only after new oxygen tanks could be placed along their route of escape, which is partially underwater.

Earlier Monday, Narongsak said the four rescued the day before were in good spirits. He said rescuers told the parents that the "strongest children" would be brought out first.

Boys from the soccer team trapped inside Tham Luang cave covered in hypothermia blankets react to the camera in Chiang Rai, Thailand, in this still image taken from a July 3, 2018 video by Thai Navy Seal. Rescue crews are anxious about the amount of air the trapped children are using, which is being drained rapidly.

Officials said Sunday morning that "today is D-Day".

Classmates of Adul, one of the boys trapped in the cave, visit a tribute for the team at Ban Waingphan school. He said that process can take several hours.

He did not say how many boys the team hoped to bring out on Monday.

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. First of all, four of the boys were successfully extracted from the cave system.

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

"The four children are fine".

Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda told reporters the four boys rescued on Sunday were in good health in hospital but did not give details.

A source at the Chiang Rai hospital said that five emergency response doctors were awaiting the boys and a further 30 doctors were on standby. Earlier efforts to pump out water from the cave have been set back every time there has been a heavy downpour.