Jubilation as 4 more boys rescued from flooded Thai cave

International teams join forces to bring the young Wild Boars home

International teams join forces to bring the young Wild Boars home

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha went to the cave to inspect the rescue operation later on Monday, with navy rescuers giving him a rousing cheer.

Up to 18 divers are taking part in the rescue mission, which could take two to four days, officials said.

Millions of gallons of water have been removed from the caves in the last week in an attempt to make it passable for the rescuers and the trapped football team. Pairs of divers shepherded the boys on the long and painstaking journey out of the cave, navigating muddy and silty water through tight passages.

Authorities have been tightlipped about the progress of Monday's operation.

However, after news of the rescue of four boys emerged, Musk tweeted, "Hopefully useful".

Video from last night's rescue shows military personnel shielding a stretcher outside a helicopter during the rescue mission.

On Sunday, officials waited until several hours after the rescued boys had been transported to hospitals to announce their rescue. An ambulance was seen leaving the scene immediately afterward early Monday evening.

"When everything was taken into account, including a forecast of possible rain, the water level and the physical health of those involved, the operation was advanced 4-5 hours".

A source involved in the rescue mission who saw two of the four boys walk out of the cave told Reuters that they looked exhausted but healthy, adding that one even looked "vivacious and fresh". Each team has its own helicopter and ambulance, along with at least one doctor, two nurses and a paramedic.

Narongsak said the rescued boys had not been identified out of respect for the families whose sons were still trapped, adding that the boys were being kept away from their parents due to fear of infection.

The boys have been trapped since June 23 and yesterday divers entered the cave to begin rescue operations, successfully freeing four of the boys.

The rescued boys are now being kept in sterilized isolation units at a nearby hospital, which prohibits physical contact, and their parents have not been told that they're safe. He expected it to arrive around 11 p.m. Monday, local time.

He added that engineers from two of his companies, SpaceX and The Boring Company, were traveling to Thailand to offer assistance.

The fate of the boys and their coach has gripped Thailand and drawn attention from around the world.

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.

"Today is D-Day", Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osottanakorn told reporters earlier in the day. He ran out of air trying to swim out of the cave.

Four members of the Wild Boar soccer team were rescued Sunday and are in a hospital.

In comments released by the government, Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda said officials were meeting Monday morning about the next stage of the operation and how to extract the remaining nine people from the cave in the country's north.

The toughest part of the route is a section at nearly halfway called "T-Junction", which due to its narrowness causes divers to remove their air tanks to fit through.

"The rescue has been huge", said volunteer helper Somjit Saenset, 56.

Elon Musk has offered his assistance and has floated plans to save the soccer team stranded in a Thai cave network. There was some rain on Sunday, which caused some water to go into the cave, but officials were able to pump an nearly equal amount of water out.

Police stand guard near the Tham Luang cave complex in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, July 9, 2018.

Narongsak reportedly added that rescuers' plans had been created to save only four people at a time, suggesting that one member of the soccer team, or the coach, may have to stay behind after the third phase of rescue operations.

When the boys are freed, they will immediately be taken to Chiangrai Prachanukroh hospital, around 60 miles from the cave site.

Extracting group could take three to four days.

The mission was paused overnight on Sunday for air tanks to be replaced. "Four boys were brought out today".

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