Thailand cave rescue resumes for 8 still trapped

Fighting time, high waters, divers prepare to rescue second group of Thai boys from cave

Fighting time, high waters, divers prepare to rescue second group of Thai boys from cave

The rescue of the remaining boys and their football coach is being carried out by trained divers who are helping them through the flooded cave network.

A total of four ambulances have left the area around the flooded cave in northern Thailand where members of a youth soccer team have been trapped for more than two weeks, suggesting eight of the 13 trapped people have now been extracted. "They are now at the field hospital near the cave", Tossathep Boonthong, chief of the health department in Chiang Rai in northern Thailand, told Reuters.

The mission to save all the trapped could take three or four days, officials have said, a race against the clock with heavy rain expected this week which would again flood the tunnels with fast-flowing, rising water.

He was taken by helicopter and ambulance to the same hospital in Chiang Rai where the first four boys rescued Sunday by a team of worldwide and Thai dive experts are being treated.

Medics appeared to remove one person on a stretcher but hid the person's identity behind multiple white umbrellas.

Update: 6:45 a.m. EDT- Rescue workers brought out a fifth boy at 5 p.m. local time (6 a.m. EDT) Monday from the cave in Thailand, the Guardian reported.

The fate of the boys and their coach has gripped Thailand and drawn worldwide media attention.

The "Wild Boars" football team and their coach got trapped on June 23 when they set out to explore the vast cave complex after football practice and the tunnels became flooded.

The soccer team seen in the cave last week, before anyone was rescued.

Phuwadech Kamnguen, a 14-year-old best friend of one of the trapped boys, said he's looking forward to eating KFC with the team again. Two divers accompanied each of the boys, all of whom have been learning to dive only since July 2, when searchers found them.

'They (the four) will be kept away from their parents for a while because we are concerned about infections, ' Narongsak Osottanakorn told reporters, adding doctors will decide on family visits 'at a distance or through glass'.

Among those are U.S. military partners, British cave diving experts - including the two men who first located the boys a week ago - and rescue workers from Australia, China and other countries.

Narongsak said 13 foreign divers and five Thai navy SEALs took part in the key leg of the rescue: taking the boys from where they have been sheltering and through dark, tight and twisting passageways filled with muddy water and strong currents.

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.

Earlier Monday, Narongsak said the four rescued the day before were in good spirits.

"Next couple of evacuations, I think they are going to bring the boys out in groups of four, so there will be two more groups, plus the soccer coach of course".

"All conditions are still as good as they were yesterday", Narongsak told a news conference.

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

"I'm hoping for good news today".

The divers also brought out touching notes for the families written by some of the trapped boys.

Relatives said the boys had been inside the complex during the dry season.

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