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Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Rescued boys from Thai cave generally healthy and smiling

Rescued boys from Thai cave generally healthy and smiling

Eight boys and the coach remained inside the Tham Luang Nang Non cave as authorities paused the worldwide effort to replenish air tanks along the treacherous exit route.

The children's families have not been told which boys have been rescued.

Reuters could not confirm the identity of the two people brought out in the evening and the chief of the rescue mission, Narongsak Osottanakorn, asked about the two, declined to comment, saying a news conference would be held soon.

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

The second phase of the rescue mission began around 11 a.m. local time (midnight ET) and took several hours.

Thai officials have confirmed that they are prioritising the weaker boys first, in order to ensure they get quick treatment. Two of them possibly have a lung infection but all eight are generally "healthy and smiling", he said. Four boys and their football coach are still trapped inside the cave.

"Today was the best situation - in terms of the children's health, water and our rescue readiness", said Mr Narongsak, now governor of Phayao province but still head of the joint command centre coordinating the rescue.

The rescue team are facing a race against time to get the remaining boys out before oxygen levels in the cave get even lower and before even more rain falls during the monsoon season, which lasts until October. Now waiting to receive 4 divers to come out.

The boys are being guided out of the cave by two divers with oxygen tanks.

The rescue team is scrambling to extract all of those stranded before fresh rains complicate the task or cut off access by increasing flooding in the cave.

Boys from the soccer team trapped inside Tham Luang cave covered in hypothermia blankets July 3 video by Thai Navy Seal.

The boys, whose names have not been revealed, are being treated at Chiang Rai Prachanukraw Hospital in Muang district.

The evacuation procedure calls for the boys to receive initial medical treatment there before rescuers take them through the remaining stretch of the cave to a field hospital outside, and then transport them by helicopter or ambulance to join their colleagues at the hospital.

Three Thai Navy Seal divers and a medic are still on their way out of the cave.

Narongsak said Saturday that experts told him new rain could shrink the unflooded space where the boys are sheltering to just 10 square metres (108 square feet).

The four boys rescued Sunday are recovering in a nearby hospital and are yet to see their parents. The four evacuated on Monday were also hospitalized, although their condition was not announced.

After the boys did not return home from football training their parents went out looking for them and their bicycles and kit were found at the entrance to the cave.

The fate of the boys and their coach has gripped Thailand and drawn global media attention.

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