Divers re-enter cave as Thai rescue restarts

Jacob Goldberg 
american divers arrive at the site

Less than an hour after the helicopter took off, Thai public television aired live video of a medivac helicopter landing close to a hospital in the city of Chiang Rai, around 60 kilometers (37 miles) from the cave.

Thai authorities are being tight-lipped about who was inside an ambulance seen leaving the site of a flooded cave Monday, as they were the night before when four of the 13 people trapped inside the underground complex were rescued. They were in good condition in hospital, officials said.

The boys and their coach had been stranded in Tham Luang Nang Non when they went exploring in the cave after a scrimmage. That brought the total number of boys rescued to five.

A device by Elon Musk's SpaceX and The Boring Company, created to help rescue the remaining members of a soccer team trapped in a flooded cave in Chiang Rai, Thailand, is being tested in a swimming pool in Los Angeles, California, in this still image taken from an undated video obtained from social media.

When it was realised that the boys were in the cave system, divers began the process of trying to find them in the enormous area.

Professional and military divers were leading the rescue effort that involved teaching the boys diving techniques that would help them navigate out of the cave in an hours long trip with each boy supported by two divers each. "And we will do it faster because we are afraid of the rain".

Rescue mission chief Narongsak Osottanakorn said it had resumed, with divers re-entering the cave at 11am local time (4pm NZT).

The hazardous bid to rescue the boys - aged between 11 and 16 - started unexpectedly on Sunday when the rescue team said conditions were flawless for the evacuation. The boys who were removed were considered the weakest, reports said.

He said that expert divers who had taken part in Sunday's operation needed to rest at least 20 hours, which would have delayed the start of the second phase to between 8pm and 10pm on Monday.

Narongsak said rescuers had to tighten a guide rope as part of their preparations for the second phase of the rescue on Monday.

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So far, four boys out of the 12 trapped are confirmed to have been rescued from the cave. There was no word on the condition of any of the people brought out on Monday.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha was visiting all eight in the nearby hospital that they were helicoptered to, he said.

Authorities had been rushing to extract the boys and their coach from the cave as monsoon rains bore down overnight on Sunday.

But after the first four emerged late on Sunday afternoon, hopes began to rise of a fairytale ending to the ordeal. He said it was out of respect for the families whose sons were still trapped in the cave.

A source at the Chiang Rai hospital said that five emergency response doctors were awaiting the boys and a further 30 doctors were on standby.

Fifa's letter said the team's appearance at the final would "undoubtedly be a wonderful moment of communion and celebration" but whether they would make it there in time or if it was a suitable activity for the traumatised group was not known.

"We have not been told which child has been brought out ..."

Chiang Rai acting Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said they "hope to hear good news in the next few hours".

Relatives said the boys had been inside the labyrinthine complex during the dry season.

"Give us three more days and the Boars will come out to see the world, every one of them", Maj-Gen.

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