Sixth boy out of Thai cave, officials vow to ‘speed up’ operation

Howard TerryJul 10, 2018

Authorities have said the mission could take three or four days to complete.

Alluding to that worry, the regional army commander offered his thanks Monday to the rain god Phra Pirun, imploring him to "keep showing us mercy".

Giving an update on the four boys pulled from the cave Sunday, Narongsak said, "This morning, they said they were hungry and wanted to eat khao pad grapao" - a popular Thai rice dish of meat stir-fried with basil and chili peppers.

Four boys were retrieved from the cave Sunday, with Narongsak noting that the healthiest boys were removed first.

The football team have been in the cave since 23 June, when rising water levels trapped them inside. According to ABC news, the fearless rescuer lost consciousness on his way out of one of the passageways because he did not have enough oxygen in his tank to make it back.

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

"The weather conditions and other environments today are as good as yesterday".

Nuttachoong Pimtong, a 14-year-old friend of Adul Sam-on, one of the 12 trapped boys, said he was watching a Thai television network with his family when he saw the first footage of the second group of boys leaving the cave site in ambulances.

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

Speaking at a press briefing at 9.30 pm, the former Chiang Rai governor said that the extraction mission today which began at 11 am was accomplished at 8 pm with four more teenage footballers being rescued out of the flooded cave and safely sent to Chiang Rai Prachanukroh hospital.

The four boys who were rescued Sunday had to travel about 2 1/2 miles with oxygen tanks.

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.

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

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. He said the mission would resume within "10 to 20 hours".

Rescuers have been navigating a unsafe and complicated plan to get the children out under the threat of heavy rain and rising water underground.

He said the operation is going better than expected, and that the team would need about 10 hours to prepare for the next stage.

The photo, posted on the Thai Navy SEAL page on Sunday, and has received over 60,000 shares.

A relative of one member of the soccer team said that the boys' families had agreed to remain at the cave until all of the boys and the coach are brought out. Monsoon flooding blocked off their escape and prevented rescuers from finding them for nearly 10 days.

The ordeal has riveted Thailand and captured the world's attention.

A team of 90 expert divers - 40 from Thailand and 50 from overseas - has been working in the cave system.

Musk shared via Twitter videos of his engineers testing its "kid-size submarine" - the same one that is apparently on its way to Thailand - underwater in a Los Angeles pool. But officials waited several hours before confirming their rescue.

"The four children are fine".

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