Friday, 22 February, 2019

8 rescued from Thai cave, but 5 remain trapped

Thailand 8 rescued from Thai cave, but 5 remain trapped
Kristopher Love | 10 July, 2018, 16:26

At a news conference, Jedsada Chokdumrongsuk, permanent secretary at the Public Health Ministry, said the first four boys rescued, aged 12 to 16, are now able to eat normal food, though they can't yet take the spicy dishes favoured by many Thais.

In the last few minutes, it's just been confirmed that an eleventh boy has been brought out of the cave complex by the divers.

Thailand has been riveted by the dramatic rescue mission to save the "Wild Boars" team after they first became trapped in Tham Luang more than two weeks ago by rising flood waters.

All eight boys rescued on the first two days are being treated in an isolation ward in a Chiang Rai hospital. Another two more boys left the cave complex a short time later followed by the fourth boy. They began again at 11 am on Monday after the teams had stopped for the night to rest and to replenish equipment and oxygen supplies.

Officials heading the rescue operation had said they were preparing a third rescue mission.

Four boys and their 25-year-old football coach "will be extracted today (Tuesday)", rescue chief Narongsak Osottanakorn said.

They spent nine harrowing days trapped in darkness until two British divers found them.

Since the operation started, the area outside the cave's entrance has filled with media, volunteers and onlookers.

A foreign diver involved in the mission to save 12 boys and their football coach from a flooded Thai cave has hailed the children as "incredibly strong", and described their treacherous escape journey as unprecedented.

4.24pm: The rescued boys have been set up with IV drips and antibiotics, as well as receiving vaccines for tetanus and rabies, the Guardian reports.

But with oxygen levels inside dropping to unsafe lows and the prospect of heavy rains flooding the area completely, authorities decided they had to move quickly, and take the group out through the water-filled tunnels.

Eight boys have been rescued so far while the remaining four boys and their coach still remained trapped in the cave.

A doctor and three Thai Navy Seals who have stayed with the boys on a small, dry shelf deep in the flooded cave will also come out, he said.

A spokesperson from the Thai public health authority said that they were in "high spirits" and also claimed that as they are football players, they have high immune systems.

Authorities sent in the rescue teams for the third and final stage of retrieving the children trapped in the Tham Luang Nang Non on Tuesday morning.

"Although his technology is good and sophisticated it's not practical for this mission", Narongsak Osatanakorn said.

Four ambulances and a convoy of other vehicles arrived at the cave site on Tuesday morning as rains hit the region.

So far it has been successful, as three boys have now emerged with the help of divers.

Officials scotched any chance of using tech billionaire Elon Musk's mini-sub made of rocket parts to rescue the remaining boys.