Four more boys rescued from Thai cave

Rescue commander Narongsak Osotanakorn has been shifted from his post as Chiang Rai governor after conflict with the

Rescue commander Narongsak Osotanakorn has been shifted from his post as Chiang Rai governor after conflict with the

They will join four other boys who were rescued on Sunday.

Twelve young boys and their soccer coach were trapped in a cave in northern Thailand by floodwaters more than two weeks ago.

A tiny submarine is on its way to Thailand, sent by Tesla CEO Elon Musk to help rescue the remaining members of a youth soccer team who are trapped in a cave.

Thai officials have been tight-lipped about the rescue operation, and would not comment on how many people were removed Monday.

Multiple sources with knowledge of the operation told Reuters the operation to rescue more of the nine boys and their coach was underway, although no official confirmation was issued.

Witnesses say the boys freed Monday were treated at a make-shift hospital at the site, before being taken to a local hospital. "This morning they complained that they are hungry and they asked for fried basil with rice", said rescue mission commander Narongsak Osottanakorn. Monsoon flooding blocked off their escape and prevented rescuers from finding them for nearly 10 days.

Four more young football players were rescued Monday from a flooded cave on day two of a unsafe rescue mission that so far has been an outrageous success.

Still, for the relatives of the Wild Boar team members, an agonising wait continued.

The rescued kids are now in the hospital, where they should receive the proper care before being released to their families. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha was visiting all eight in the nearby hospital that they were helicoptered to, he said.

Onlookers watch and cheer during the rescue operation.

Narongsak Osatanakorn, the head of the joint command centre coordinating the operation said: "The factors are as good as yesterday ..."

While the governor would not confirm the identities of the four boys, he said the first one emerged at 5:40 p.m. local time (6.40 a.m. ET), followed by the second boy 10 minutes later.

Rescuers had spent days balancing the risk of impending monsoons, which could have flooded the cave again, against the boys' readiness, weakened as they were by their ordeal.

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

Getting to and from where the boys are has been an exhausting round trip, even for the experienced divers. To get the remaining boys out, divers will be forced by the narrow passages to accompany them one at a time.

Rescued schoolboys are moved from a military helicopter to an awaiting ambulance at a military airport in Chiang Rai, Thailand, July 9, 2018.

The boys, ages 11-16, and their 25-year-old coach became stranded when they went exploring inside after a practice game.

So treacherous were the conditions that one Thai Navy SEAL died during operations last week, a blow to rescuers who faced a race against time to free the soccer team. Two of them possibly have a lung infection but all eight are generally "healthy and smiling", he said.

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

The cave complex is off-limits during the rainy season, which usually runs from May to October, when downpours can quickly flood it.

Chiang Rai health officials have told the Thai media that the families of the children can see them later tonight but "no hugging, no kissing" until their blood results are known.

The only way to bring the boys and their coach out of the cave is by navigating dark and tight passageways filled with muddy water and strong currents, as well as oxygen-depleted air.

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