'Good news' expected in Thai cave rescue mission

11 Julio, 2018, 08:10 | Author: Kelly Blake
  • Rescue commander Narongsak Osotanakorn has been shifted from his post as Chiang Rai governor after conflict with the

The boys brought out of the dark, winding cave on Monday are "safe and conscious", said Chiang Rai province acting Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn, who is in charge of the rescue effort. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha was visiting all eight in the nearby hospital that they were helicoptered to, he said.

And although the four had been rescued, there were concerns they may have contracted an illness while in the cave, Narongsak said on Monday. The search and rescue operation has involved dozens of worldwide experts and rescuers, including a U.S. military team.

"I don't know if he is out, they didn't tell us", she said as she rested in a hut close to the mouth of the cave. Another five still await rescue, including the team's 25-year-old coach. Pairs of divers shepherded the boys on the long and painstaking journey out of the cave, navigating muddy and silty water through tight passages.

It is understood the same divers who rescued the first four boys have been given the job of getting the remaining team members out. It ended with their fighting cheer, adopted from the U.S. Navy: "Hooyah!"

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

"This morning they said they are hungry, and they wanted phad kra pao", he said.

An ambulance with flashing lights has left a cave complex in northern Thailand hours after the start of the second phase of an operation to rescue a youth soccer team trapped inside the flooded cave for more than two weeks.

Somboon Sompiangjai, 38, the father of one of the trapped boys, said parents were told by rescuers ahead of Sunday's operation the "strongest children" would be brought out first.

Once that task is complete, the boys are then handed over to a team of specialist who are assisting them through the remainder of the cave, much of which they can wade through.

The rescue operation was launched on Sunday and four boys were brought out that day.

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Monday's mission involved 18 divers from Thailand and overseas.

Somboon Sompiangjai, 38, whose son Peerapat, known as Night, is still in the cave, said parents had been told they would not be able to visit their sons once rescued. "We believe that we can do even better and it will be a 100 per cent success", he said.

Thongchai said doctors were checking to make sure the children are free from serious infections such as leptospirosis and meliodosis.

Rescuers chose to go ahead with the operation to free them because of fears that waters would rise again.

The first part of the rescue involves elite divers who are holding the boys' oxygen tanks in front of them as they are escorted through narrow submerged holes.

Cave rescue experts have said they consider an underwater escape to be a last resort, especially with people untrained in diving.

The death Friday of a former Thai navy SEAL underscored the risks.

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.

A deluge could overwhelm efforts to lower water levels in the caves - more than 32 million gallons of water were pumped out after the boys were found alive last Monday.

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