Four of Thailand's cave kids saved, rescue mission continues

Four of Thailand's cave kids saved, rescue mission continues

Four of Thailand's cave kids saved, rescue mission continues

The Thai navy says at least four boys among a group of 12 and their soccer coach have been rescued from a cave where they had been trapped for over two weeks. The outgoing Chiang Rai province Governor Narongsak Osottanakorn in charge of rescue operation called the worldwide divers "all-stars" and the Thai divers "five of our best".

The boys, aged between 11 and 16, went missing with their 25-year-old coach after soccer practice on June 23, setting out on an adventure to explore the cave complex near the border with Myanmar and celebrate a boy's birthday, reported news agency Reuters. "The boys are ready to face any challenges", rescue chief Narongsak Osottanakorn told reporters near the cave site on Sunday morning.

"Now and in the next three or four days, the conditions are flawless (for evacuation) in terms of the water, the weather and the boys' health".

A source said the football team will be divided into four groups.

She said rescuers have not been giving away how optimistic or pessimistic they are. but "it was clear they were tense".

It is unclear exactly how the boys will be moved but it appears that the journey will include some diving and walking in areas where the water level permits.

"We are at peak readiness".

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They said that people from this community often pass though villages begging and they had been doing that when they were attacked. Police also imposed a curfew in the village and have deployed auxiliary forces, but the area remains on edge, the BBC reports.

Teams of Thai and worldwide divers have since supplied them with food, oxygen and medical attention, but there are mounting concerns about the oxygen level in the chamber, which officials said had fallen to 15%.

A helicopter flew the four boys to the nearby city of Chiang Rai, where they were taken by ambulance to the hospital.

"Assessing the situation now, it is necessary to evacuate the area for the rescue operation", said Mae Sai police commander Komsan Sa-ardluan over a loudspeaker.

The only way to bring the 13 out is by navigating dark and tight passageways filled with muddy water and strong currents, as well as oxygen-depleted air. Earlier efforts to pump out water from the cave have been set back every time there has been a heavy downpour.

Some took time on Sunday to pay tribute to Saman Gunan, a Thai Navy SEAL who died while trying to ensure the boys had enough oxygen.

The first boy rescued exited the cave 5:40 p.m. local time, followed by three of his team members shortly after.

On July 4, Thai navy SEALS released video of the boys who appeared to be in good spirits despite the harrowing conditions. The initial euphoria of finding the boys alive tuned into deep anxiety as rescuers raced to find a way to get them out.

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