Friday, 14 December, 2018

Six boys exit the cave, says senior official

Rescue operation begins for 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in a cave in Thailand Rescue mission under way to free boys inside Thai cave
Jeannette Daniel | 09 July, 2018, 05:10

The rescuers needed at least 10 hours to prepare for their next operation, involving about 90 divers in total, 50 of them from foreign countries, he said.

The first two boys were extracted from the cave around 5:40 p.m. local time Sunday with the help of divers.

"Clearly there is a huge risk of someone panicking if they are not used to the diving environment", Tony Haigh, a spokesman for the British Cave Rescue Council, which had two divers that found the boys, told the Post. They will be taken to a nearby helipad with a police motorcycle escort before being flown to the provincial capital of Chiang Rai for treatment in a hospital there.

Before the current rescue mission began, Elon Musk tweeted that he was designing an "escape pod" built from "the liquid oxygen transfer tube" of a SpaceX Falcon rocket that could be used as a submarine.

But the mission was paused overnight for air tanks to be replaced.

Sam Teller, the spokesperson for the Boring Company, said four company engineers were "offering support in any way the government deems useful".

Media was cleared away from the rescue site on Sunday morning.

Officials have not yet released the names of the two footballers who military sources say have exited the Tham Luang cave complex in Chiang Rai.

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Reporting from Chiang Rai, Al Jazeera's Scott Heidler said it had started raining again on Sunday. One of the boys, identified as Tun, wrote: "Mom and Dad, please don't worry, I am fine". In total, the mission could last several days, he also said, though the team of global divers on the site are apparently feeling "buoyed" by the success of the operation so far.

Family members pray near a cave where 12 boys and their soccer coach have been trapped since June 23, in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, in northern Thailand on Saturday.

"Today was the best day, the best situation in terms of the weather, the health of the boys, our water management for our rescue effort", the head of the rescue operation, Narongsak Osottanakorn, told a news conference.

The commander of yesterday's operation, regional governor Narongsak Osatanakorn said as the operation commenced: 'Today we are most ready.

An Australian doctor who is part of the worldwide team of rescuers checked the health of the boys Saturday to decide who should be brought to the surface first.

Sustained heavy rains could make the water rise to the shelf where the children were sitting, reducing the area to "less than 10 square meters", he added.

Thai officials said Friday that oxygen levels inside the cave plummeted to a unsafe 15% - shy of the US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration's "optimal range" of oxygen, which is between 19.5% and 23.5%.

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