Update: The Thai navy seals carrying out the dangerous rescue mission have confidently predicted in a new post on Facebook that all the boys and their coach will be reunited today. Eleven boys have been extracted from the flooded cave so far. A boy and the soccer team coach are still to be freed. “Today the Wild Boar pack will be reunited. Hooyah!” it posted on the social network.
Update: Thai TV said the eleventh to be rescued is the smallest, assumed to be 11-year-old Chanin Wiboonrungrueng. His identity has not been confirmed.
Update: An eleventh person has been seen being carried out of the cave, according to Reuters, leaving one boy and the coach still to be freed.
Update: A tenth person was rescued on Tuesday from a flooded Thai cave complex where 12 boys and their soccer coach were trapped for more than two weeks, raising hopes all 13 would be out by the end of the day, Reuters reported. A Reuters witness saw two people being carried out of the Tham Luang cave on stretchers. They were the first two to be taken out on Tuesday, the third day of the rescue operation.
Update: Ninth Boy Rescued, Say Reports | One more boy was brought out of the cave complex in northern Thailand on Tuesday, the third day of rescue operations, CNN reported. The boy is being treated at the medical facility on site, according to a Thai navy official with direct knowledge of the operational details. Nine of the 12 Thai boys have now been rescued. Three boys and their coach remain in the cave.
Bangkok: Eight schoolboy footballers have been rescued from a flooded Thai cave, with four more and their coach still trapped inside following the second day of a dramatic rescue operation.
Four boys were freed within three hours on Monday evening, more than a fortnight after the group entered the Tham Luang network of caverns.
The first four boys were rescued on Sunday, and were said to be hungry but in good health after arriving at hospital.
The mission was halted overnight so air tanks placed along the treacherous network of tunnels could be replenished before rescue efforts resumed at 11am on Monday.
Rescue workers carried four boys out of the cave complex on Monday, with ambulances seen leaving the area with flashing emergency lights,
Thai TV footage also showed a helicopter taking off from a helipad nearby, prompting cheers from crowds below.
Authorities remained tight-lipped about the rescue operation. On Sunday, they only confirmed the success of the rescue after several hours, when the four boys were safely in hospital.
It initially unclear whether divers would attempt further rescues on Monday or if the operation would be halted until Tuesday.
The rescue operation has involved the boys diving through the cave’s narrow, twisting and jagged passageways while tethered to their rescuers.
Seven experienced cave divers from the UK involved in the rescue, expected to take up to four days.
“The UK divers are part of the core team, so they will be actively involved and that will include escorting each child out through the flooded passage,” said a British Cave Rescue Council spokesman.
Two rescuers accompanied each of the boys freed on Sunday, swimming the the caves “while holding the boys beneath their bodies,” said Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osatanakorn. The rescuers are believed to have been forced to detach their oxygen tanks in order to pass through some of the tightest stretches.
The boys have only been learning to dive since 2 July, when they were first discovered perched on a ledge 2.5 miles inside the winding network of caverns.
Cave rescue experts consider an underwater escape to be a last resort, especially with people untrained in diving.
The death of a former Thai navy Seal on Friday underlined the risks. Saman Gunan, who was helping the rescue as a volunteer, and died on a mission to place oxygen canisters along the route.