Eight rescued from Thai cave, but five remain trapped

Eight rescued from Thai cave, but five remain trapped

TRT World's John Joe Regan said the rescued boys - who remained in the cave without food for nine days - are weak "but they are doing well".

Describing Monday's rescue, the first source said the boys arrived at Chamber 3 at 4pm after being rescued by foreign and Navy Seal divers from the ledge called Nern Nom Sao, where they had sheltered from floodwaters for more than a week.

The generals and other officials overseeing the desperate operation to rescue 12 young soccer players and their coach from a flooded cave labyrinth in Thailand's sweltering far north were only half joking when they quipped Monday that success was in the hands of the rain god Phra Pirun.

There are now five members of the Wild Boar football team now left in the cave.

The daring and unsafe bid to rescue the boys - aged between 11 and 16 - was suspended by the mission chief late on Sunday to replenish oxygen supplies and make new preparations, which he said would take at least 10 hours.

Four more boys were rescued on Monday, after the first four were rescued on Sunday.

Witnesses say the boys freed Monday were treated at a make-shift hospital at the site, before being taken to a local hospital. Monsoon flooding blocked off their escape and prevented rescuers from finding them for nearly 10 days.

In all, 12 boys and their coach had been stuck in the Tham Luang cave network since June 23, when water levels partially flooded the escape routes. That brought the total number of boys rescued to five.

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.

"Everything is all good - weather, water and the boys' conditions", he said, adding, "We will speed up [the operation]".

Authorities said a medical team was assessing whether to reunite the boys with their parents soon. "We can't visit our boys in hospital because they need to be monitored for 48 hours", Somboon told Reuters.

The perilous rescues have involved two divers accompanying each boy, all of whom have been learning to dive since July 2, when searchers found them.

Rescue workers at the cave complex, seen late Sunday.

The death of a former Thai Navy SEAL diver who ran out of oxygen in the cave on Friday underscored the danger of the journey even for professionals.

The boys' nightmare experience - trapped in claustrophobic darkness by rising waters - resonated across the globe, riveting people both in Thailand and internationally who anxiously watched the news coming from this town along the border with Myanmar.

'A flash flood because of sudden heavy rain locked them in'.

The hint of setting sun and blue skies broke through the heavy clouds behind the caves as a helicopter whirred through the sky, carrying the last of the team south to a hospital in nearby Chiang Rai. Two of them possibly have a lung infection but all eight are generally "healthy and smiling", he said.

Family members have seen at least some of the boys from behind a glass isolation barrier, and Jesada said doctors may let the boys walk around their beds Tuesday. He said rescuers told the parents that the "strongest children" would be brought out first. "We've used all the oxygen", Osatanakorn told reporters.

"In the next few hours we will have good news".

Eight boys are still inside the cave and along with the team coach.

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