Monday 23 July 2018

Thai caves latest: Four more boys extracted on second day of rescue operation

Eight young footballers in total have now been removed from the site in Chiang Rai as the second day of extraction efforts ended.

Eight boys in total have been brought out of the caves (AP)
Eight boys in total have been brought out of the caves (AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

Four more boys have been brought out of a flooded cave in northern Thailand, with ongoing rescue operation ended for the day, Thai officials said.

A navy Seals aide, Sitthichai Klangpattana, did not comment on the boys’ health or say how well the operation has gone at the Tham Luang Nang Non caves in Chiang Rai.

Eight of the 12 boys have now been brought out of the treacherous cave system by divers, including four who were brought out on Sunday on the first day of the operation.

The boys and their 25-year-old coach have been trapped for more than two weeks after heavy rains flooded the sprawling cave network comprising caverns connected by tight passages.

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A rescue helicopter prepares to fly to hospital (AP)

Thai navy officials have said four more boys have been brought out of the Chiang Rai caves complex after having been trapped inside for more than two weeks.

This brings the total rescued to eight, after four other boys were extracted successfully at the Tham Luang Nang Non caves.

Teams of elite divers have been carrying out a painstaking rescue at the site after 12 members of a youth football team and their coach became trapped inside the flooded caves.

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A total of eight people have been rescued from the site (AP)

A total of four ambulances have left the area around the flooded cave in northern Thailand where members of a youth football team have been trapped for more than two weeks – suggesting eight of the 13 people inside have now been extracted.

Thai officials remain tight-lipped about the rescue operation at the Tham Luang Nang Non cave complex in Chiang Rai, and would not comment on how many people were removed on Monday.

On Sunday, teams of divers brought out four of the trapped boys, but waited several hours before confirming they were safe.

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Indian students hold candles and pray for the boys and their coach (AP)

More ambulances have been seen leaving the site of a flooded cave in northern Thailand where young footballers and their 25-year-old coach have been trapped for more than two weeks.

That brings to four the number of ambulances which have left the site in Chiang Rai during the second day of a high-risk operation to bring the boys out of the labyrinthine Tham Luang Nang Non cave system.

On Sunday, teams of divers brought out four of the trapped boys from the system, having negotiated tight passageways and flooded chambers, but waited several hours before confirming their safe rescue. Authorities have been tight-lipped about the progress of Monday’s operation.

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Four ambulances have left the complex so far on Monday (AP)

An ambulance has left a cave complex in northern Thailand hours after the start of the second phase of an operation to rescue a football team and their coach trapped inside the flooded complex for more than two weeks.

Soon after the ambulance was seen leaving the Tham Luang Nang Non complex in Chiang Rai with its emergency lights on, a helicopter took off.

Authorities have said helicopters are on stand-by to take any evacuees to hospital, though it is unclear who was inside the emergency vehicles. Nine people remained trapped, including the team’s coach, after four boys were rescued on Sunday.

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Helicopters stand ready to evacuate casualties (AP)

The four boys already rescued from a flooded cave in Thailand are hungry but in good health at hospital, Thai authorities have said.

Eight boys and their football coach remain trapped in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in the mountainous Chiang Rai region where the rescue operation resumed at 11am local time on Monday.

Officials said at a news conference that the parents of the rescued boys, whose names have not been released, have not yet been allowed to have physical contact with them, pending more extensive examination of their physical condition.

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The rescue operation is back under way (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

Thai authorities say the second phase of the operation to rescue the remaining eight trapped boys and their football coach from a flooded cave in Thailand has resumed.

Officials added that overnight rain did not change water levels in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in the Chiang Raid region where the boys and coach are trapped.

Chiang Rai’s acting governor Narongsak Osatanakorn, who is overseeing the mission, said he hoped to hear good news “in the next few hours”.

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Chiang Rai province acting governor Narongsak Osatanakorn (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

Footage from inside the Tham Luang cave, from Saturday, shows the efforts made by rescue workers to free the 12 trapped boys and their football coach.

Elon Musk’s Space X rocket company is testing a “kid-sized submarine” that could help rescue the remaining eight boys and their football coach trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand.

Mr Musk posted videos on Twitter of the aluminium sub being tested at a swimming pool. If the tests are successful, the sub would be placed on a 17-hour flight to Thailand.

Four of the boys were rescued on Sunday.

A spokesman for Musk’s Boring Co tunnelling unit, which has four engineers at the cave, has said Thai officials requested the device, which could potentially help the children through narrow, flooded cave passageways.

Authorities are preparing to resume efforts to rescue the remaining eight boys and their football coach trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand.

The dangerous mission began on Sunday with four boys being delivered to the surface.

But rain is threatening to raise water levels inside the cave where the team was stranded for two weeks. There was a heavy but brief downpour on Monday morning.

New oxygen tanks are being placed in the cave before the second stage of the rescue effort begins.

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Four boys have already been rescued and sent to hospital (Chiang Rai Public Relations Office via AP)

Eight boys and their football coach remain trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand after rescue efforts brought four to the surface.

Heavy monsoon rains lashed the mountainous Chiang Rai region, where the Tham Luang Nang Non cave is situated, for several hours overnight.

Water levels have a massive effect on the difficulty of the rescue operation. It is not immediately clear how the rains had affected levels inside the cave.

Thailand’s Meteorological Department said there was a 60% chance of rain on Monday with thunderstorms forecast throughout the week.

Thai officials say the same divers who took part in Sunday’s rescue will also conduct the next operation as they know the cave conditions and what to do.

The team is believed to include two elite British divers, Rick Stanton and John Volanthen, who were the first rescuers to reach the group.

The British Cave Rescue Council (BCRC) confirmed that seven divers from the UK with “expertise in cave diving” are assisting.

MEDIA BRIEFING NOTE Number 11 – Third of Day - 8 July 2018 Update on the rescue operation to bring the boys out of...

Posted by British Cave Rescue Council - BCRC on Sunday, July 8, 2018

Thailand’s interior minister Anupong Paojinda said officials are meeting about the next stage of the operation and how to extract the remaining nine.

Mr Anupong said divers need to place more air canisters along the underwater route to where the boys and their coach have been trapped since June 23. He said that process can take several hours.

He said the boys rescued on Sunday are strong and safe but need to undergo detailed medical checks.

Press Association

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