CAVE RESCUE UPDATE | Rescued Thai boys ’safe and conscious’


11:40 a.m.

MAE SAI, Thailand (AP) — The official heading the Thai cave rescue operation says the four boys brought out of the flooded cave by divers on Monday are “safe and conscious” and now in a hospital.

Chiang Rai acting Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn also told a news conference that Monday’s operation, which was the second day of a high-stakes rescue effort, took less time than Sunday’s because of the experienced accumulated and more people involved.

Eight of the 13 trapped people — a total of 12 boys and their 25-year-old soccer coach — have now been rescued.

Narongsak said he’s not sure if the remaining five people will be extracted in one or more operations.

He said Thailand’s prime minister, who visited the cave site Monday, has gone to visit all eight boys in the hospital

10 a.m.

MAE SAI, Thailand (AP) — An aide to the Thai Navy SEAL commander says four boys were brought out of the flooded cave in northern Thailand on Monday and the ongoing rescue operation is over for the day.

The aide, Sitthichai Klangpattana, didn’t comment on the boys’ health or say how well the operation has gone.

A total of eight of the 12 boys have now been brought out of the treacherous cave system by divers, including four who were brought out on Sunday, when the rescue operation began.

The boys and their 25-year-old coach have been trapped for more than two weeks after heavy rains flooded the kilometers- long cave network made up of caverns connected by tight passages.

2 a.m.

Associated Press

Australia’s foreign minister today said 19 Australian personnel are involved in the Thailand cave rescue operation including a doctor who’s played an essential part in assessing which boys can leave and in what order.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told reporters in Australia that anesthetist and experienced cave diver Richard Harris is working with the Thai medical team inside the cave “to make the decisions about the order in which the boys were to be extracted.”

Expert divers Sunday rescued four of 12 boys from a flooded cave in northern Thailand where they were trapped with their soccer coach for more than two weeks. Crews will have to replenish air tanks along the route before rescuing the others.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s interior minister says the same divers who took part in Sunday’s rescue of four boys trapped in a flooded cave will also conduct the next operation as they know the cave conditions and what to do.

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

Anupong said divers need to place more air canisters along the underwater route to where the boys and their coach have been trapped since June 23. He said that process can take several hours.

He said the boys rescued Sunday are strong and safe but need to undergo detailed medical checks.

Today the rescuers have awoken to cloudy skies, after a night in which heavy monsoon rains lashed the mountainous region for several hours.

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