Eight boys now rescued from flooded cave in Thailand

Fighting time, high waters, divers prepare to rescue second group of Thai boys from cave

The next phase of the operation would start sometime today after rescue teams replenish the supply of oxygen tanks along the route.

Whilst four boys and their coach remain trapped in the flooded cave system awaiting rescue, the freed members of the soccer team have been quarantined in their own hospital ward.

Five ambulances were seen driving toward the Tham Luang Nang Non cave complex on Monday afternoon, and at least one helicopter was also seen heading towards the cave entrance. Their families were being kept at a distance because of fears of infection, and the emaciated-looking boys were eating a rice-based porridge because they were still too weak to take regular food, authorities said.

Narongsak Osatanakorn, the former Chiang Rai governor who's been heading the rescue operation, said the four children had to dive more than half a mile to get to safety.

Four boys and their coach remain in the cave Monday, CNN reports.

The Facebook page of the Thai navy SEALs, who have been central to the rescue operation, was updated Monday night to say "two days, eight boars" - a reference to the Wild Boars, the name of the boys' soccer team.

The eight boys brought out by divers over the previous two days are in "high spirits" and have strong immune systems because they are soccer players, a senior health official said.

Three divers have been escorting the children, while the remainder are positioned along the unsafe first kilometre stretch.

Divers held the boys close to bring them out, and each had to wear an oxygen mask to enable normal breathing, authorities said.

The 12 young footballers and their coach became trapped in the Thiam Luang cave two weeks ago due to rising water after they entered the cave made it impossible for them to escape. So the sub still could come into play on a third day of rescues.

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"I beg Phra Pirun because the Meteorological Department said that from Monday on there will be continuous rain", Bancha said. Doctors were being cautious because of the infection risk and were isolating the boys in the hospital.

As reported by us earlier, twelve boys belonging to a football club and their coach were trapped in a Thai cave while on an excursion from June 23rd.

"This morning they said they are hungry, and they wanted Phad Kra Pao", he said.

"The next step is to make sure those kids and their families are safe because living in a cave has a different environment which might contains animals that could transmit any disease", a hospital statement said.

Officials have said storms forecast for the province had factored into their decision to go ahead with a complicated and unsafe plan to have the boys and their coach dive out of the cave.

Cave rescue experts have said they consider an underwater escape to be a last resort, especially with people untrained in diving.

It took hours to place oxygen tanks and guide ropes along the narrow tunnel leading to the boys.

The first four boys in the football team were rescued on Sunday and are in a stable condition in hospital. Pairs of divers shepherded the boys on the long and painstaking journey out of the cave, navigating muddy and silty water through tight passages. Onlookers were seen watching and cheering as they drove by.

The soccer team had been trapped in the underground cave network since June 23, with flash floods causing water levels to rise, making it hard to get out.

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