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Two boys out from Thai cave as rescue team launches operation to save all

The hazardous Sunday operation to rescue the 12 boys and their coach, who have been trapped for more than two weeks, has been undertaken because of fears of rising waters.


Rescue teams working against the clock managed to bring out two of the 12 Thai school boys trapped inside a cave on Sunday. The two boys were immediately flown out to Chiang Rai Prachanukroh hospital in a helicopter.

Two other boys trapped inside a flooded Thai cave reached the rescue base camp inside the complex on Sunday and will walk out soon, the country’s defence ministry spokesman told AFP.

“Four boys have reached chamber three and will walk out of the cave shortly,” Lieutenant-General Kongcheep Tantrawanit said, referring to the area where rescue workers had set up a base.

The two boys, starved and exhausted, received treatment at the Tham Luang cave entrance before being taken to hospital.

The hazardous Sunday operation to rescue the 12 boys and their coach, who have been trapped for more than two weeks, has been undertaken because of fears of rising waters. Divers are navigating treacherous submerged passageways guiding the boys and the coach through darkness towards the mouth of the

Divers are reportedly guiding the 12 boys and their coach through darkness and submerged passageways towards the mouth of the cave system in groups.

There is no clarity on how long the mission will continue. Leader of the operation Narongsak Osottanakorn said that 18 divers had gone in to bring the boys out adding that a medical examination of the boys revealed they can withstand the pressures of the rescue operation.

Earlier today, Thai authorities told media to leave a camp site near the cave so that “victims” could be helped, possibly signalling a long-awaited rescue effort to get them out.

The ‘Wild Boars’ team has been confined to the Tham Luang cave since 23 June, when they went in after practice and were hemmed in by monsoon floods.


Thai Cave Rescue
Thai Police stand in front of the hospital in Chiang Rai as rescue operations continue for 12 boys and their coach trapped at Tham Luang cave at Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province on July 8, 2018. (Photo: AFP PHOTO / YE AUNG THU)


Their plight has transfixed Thailand and the rest of the world, with more than 1,000 journalists registered to cover the rescue staking out a small patch of muddy land at the top of a hill near the entrance.

“Everyone who is not involved with the operations has to get out of the area immediately,” police announced via loudspeaker at the site on Sunday morning.

“From the situation assessment, we need to use the area to help victims.” They gave a deadline of 9:00 am to clear out, setting off a frenzy of moving and packing.

Read More: Thai cave rescue site cleared to ‘help victims’

The order to leave the site came as irritation over the media presence grew, and a day after the rescue mission chief said conditions were perfect for the evacuation to begin.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk on Saturday said a team he had sent for the Thailand cave rescue operations is working closely with experts from the country on an escape capsule design to bring the 12 schoolchildren and their football coach trapped in a partially flooded cave to safety.

“Some good feedback from cave experts in Thailand. Iterating with them on an escape pod design that might be safe enough to try,” Musk tweeted on Saturday.

Read More: Thailand cave rescue: Elon Musk team working on escape pod design

“Also building an inflatable tube with airlocks. Less likely to work, given tricky contours, but great if it does,” he added.

Alarmed by the urgency, Musk earlier announced on Twitter that engineers from his SpaceX and Boring Company, which digs tunnels for advanced transport systems, would head to Thailand on Saturday to help the government in the rescue operations.

(With inputs from agencies.)