Ambulance Leaves Thai Cave on 2nd Day of Rescue Operation

Jacob Goldberg 
american divers arrive at the site

The fifth boy was taken by helicopter to Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital in the provincial capital Chiang Rai, while the sixth remained inside a medical tent before being moved.

Rescue divers extracted four boys from the cave Sunday and headed back Monday to rescue the remaining eight and their soccer coach. Narongsak said experts told him the new rain could shrink the unflooded space where the boys are sheltering to 108 square feet.

The boys' nightmare experience - trapped in claustrophobic darkness by rising waters - resonated across the globe, riveting people both in Thailand and internationally who anxiously watched the news coming from this town along the border with Myanmar.

Before announcing that the rescue was underway, authorities ordered the throngs of media that have gathered at the cave from around the world to leave.

Crews are rushing to rescue the boys before the cave complex is inundated once again by seasonal rains. Having completed this section, the boys are then handed over to separate, specialist rescue teams, who help assist them through the remainder of the cave, much of which they can wade through. They were found alive last week by divers.

The entire operation to rescue all 13 could last two to four days, depending on weather and water conditions, said army Maj.

Extracting everyone could take up to four days, but the initial success has raised hopes that could be done.

Twelve children and one adult were trapped in underground caves in northern Thailand on June 23rd, and a rescue mission is still taking place to bring the victims home.

The death of a former Thai Navy SEAL diver who ran out of oxygen in the cave on Friday underscored the danger of the journey even for professionals.

Volunteers outside the cave in Chiang Rai cheered as news of the first boy rescued on Monday emerged. The boys who were removed were considered the weakest, reports said.

They were all carried out on stretchers and into ambulances before being airlifted to the Chiang Rai Pranukroh Hospital, where the four players rescued on Sunday are recovering.

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Narongsak said rescuers had to tighten a guide rope as part of their preparations for the second phase of the rescue on Monday.

Officials have yet to confirm the identities of the four boys freed. There was no word on the condition of any of the people brought out on Monday.

The four boys pulled from the cave Sunday in an urgent and risky operation that involved them diving through the cave's tight and twisting passages were in good health.

They said the four boys already rescued are hungry but in good health in a hospital.

At the hospital in Chiang Rai, green canvas sheets had been put up to block the entrance from view.

Meanwhile, health experts said they would conduct a check-up of the boys on parameters like oxygen, malnutrition, dehydration, post-traumatic stress, and other psychological effects.

Medical teams previously said concerns included hypothermia and an airborne lung infection known as "cave disease", which is caused by bat and bird droppings.

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

At some point, there was talk of leaving of the boys in the cave throughout the rainy season, Tracy said.

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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