World

Thai soccer team members rescued from cave

Thai soccer team members rescued from cave

Four Thai soccer players are the first to be successfully rescued from a flooded cave hours after a complex and unsafe rescue mission commenced, according to Thai navy SEALS.

The Thai navy says at least four boys among a group of 12 and their soccer coach have been rescued from a cave where they had been trapped for over two weeks.

A former member of Thailand's elite navy SEAL unit died during a dive on Thursday night, a grim turn in what began two weeks ago as an outing to celebrate the birthday of one of the boys.

The soccer team's ordeal has drawn huge media attention in Thailand and overseas, as monsoon conditions worsened amid a frantic search to find the trapped youngsters.

Half of the soccer team trapped inside the flooded Thai cave have now been brought out after divers executed a carefully constructed rescue mission.

Army General Chalonhchai Chaiyakam said the efforts to rescue all 12 boys and their coach could last two to four days, depending on water levels and weather conditions. "They have not been moved to Chiang Rai hospital yet", Tossathep said.

The operation to rescue the Thai football team trapped in a cave has begun this morning.

The entire world has their eyes fixed on the tireless rescue operations that are now underway in Tham Luang cave in Thailand where a junior football team of 12 boys led by a young coach is trapped.

Two more boys were pulled from the cave a short time later from where they had been marooned by floodwaters more than two miles from the cave entrance, the Thai Navy SEAL official Facebook page said. Two more to follow close behind.

He said the first boys could emerge from the cave at around 2pm Irish time.

The governor has called the rescue a "war with water and time".

He said it would take eight hours to produce and 17 hours to transport to Thailand, though it was not clear if the Thai rescue team would use it.

His announcement, at a news conference more than an hour after helicopters and ambulances were seen rushing from the cave area, drew cheers and applause.

Narongsak said Saturday that experts told him new rain could shrink the unflooded space where the boys are sheltering to just 10 square meters (108 square feet). "We have tried all possible ways to get the boys out, but sometimes we can't win over nature".

The boys were immediately taken to the hospital for evaluation after being trapped underground for almost two weeks. The boys were rescued wearing full face masks.

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday that the U.S. government is working closely with Thai officials to get the children to safety.

Rescuers have been unable to extend a hose pumping oxygen all the way to where the boys are, but have brought them some oxygen tanks.


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