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8 rescued from Thai cave, but 5 remain trapped

8 rescued from Thai cave, but 5 remain trapped

Eighth-grade teacher Manusanit Chongpanyanon shared the good news Monday with the students that four of the wayward boys were rescued from the Tham Luang Nang Non cave on Sunday and another four were brought out on Monday.

Officials last week said they would bring the fittest people in the group out first, but Narongsak later said that whoever was ready first would be escorted out. The official declined to be identified as he is not authorised to speak to the media.

The boys, who are in the Wild Boars soccer team, have captured hearts around the world as images of their smiling faces emerged from within the cave as they fought for their lives.

British divers found the 13, huddled on a muddy bank in a partly flooded chamber several kilometres inside the complex, on Monday last week.

The same 12 divers, including several from the United Kingdom with "expertise in cave diving", conducted Monday's operation, and it was expected to be a quicker rescue than on Sunday as the divers are now familiar with the circumstances. It is a race against the clock with heavy rain expected in coming days, which would again dangerously flood the tunnels with fast flowing, and rising, water. Rescue chief Narongsak Osotthanakorn said Monday that the second round of extraction of trapped people resumed late Monday morning.

The death on Friday of a former Thai navy Seal, Saman Gunan, underlined the risks.

The rescued boys were airlifted to the Chiagrai Prachanukroh Hospital in Chiang Rai after initial treatment at a field hospital near the caves, and the four boys rescued Sunday were said to be "in good condition".

According to the Associated Press, a Thai official revealed that the healthiest boys were taken out of the cave first.

The soccer team and their coach entered the Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai province in northern Thailand on June 23 and were trapped by floodwaters. More than 100 personnel and 18 divers worked on Monday's mission.

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"For the people who are now bringing the 13.out of the Tham Luang cave, he (Prayuth) wishes safety and success", government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said.

Authorities are unable to say whether all five will be brought to the surface together as they continue to navigate the risky rescue operation.

It appears that the team were going into the cave as part of an initiation ceremony which tasked the boys with reaching the end of the cave and returning having written their names on the far wall.

A helicopter flew the four boys to the nearby city of Chiang Rai, where they were taken by ambulance to hospital. Still, they were undergoing medical checks in a hospital and were not yet allowed close contact with relatives due to fear of infections, who were able to see them through a glass partition.

The four who were rescued previously were taken to a hospital in Chiang Rai for evaluation. His colleagues said they would "not let the sacrifice of our friend go to waste".

"I beg Phra Pirun because the Meteorological Department said that from Monday on there will be continuous rain", Bancha said.

While the names of those rescued have not been released, six of the boys are students at the Maesaiprasitsart School and classmates say they've been closely monitoring the global mission to save them.

"I'm hoping for good news".


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