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THAILAND: Six boys have exited Thai cave – Senior member of rescue medical team

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© AFP 2018 / LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA

SPUTNIK – Earlier in the day, a rescue operation started to extract a Thai youth football team trapped in the massive Tham Luang cave system in Thailand, Reuters reported.

“Four boys have reached chamber three and will walk out of the cave shortly,” Lieutenant-General Kongcheep Tantrawanit said, referring to the area where rescue workers had set up a base.

Earlier it had been announced that two boys from the trapped soccer team had been rescued from the cave.

The boys had to traverse more than four kilometers to get to the exit of the cave, according to Khaosod paper citing officials.

“Two kids are out. They are currently at the field hospital near the cave,” said Tossathep Boonthong, chief of Chiang Rai’s health department and part of the rescue team.

Two ambulances were seen leaving the cave in northern Thailand hours after the rescue operation began.

Thai media reported Saturday that a group of international divers was preparing an emergency rescue plan to guide the 12 boys and their football coach out of the waterlogged cave in which they have been trapped for more than two weeks.

The head of the rescue mission Narongsak Osottanakorn said Sunday “Today is the D-day. The boys are ready to face any challenges,” AFP reported.

© REUTERS / ATHIT PERAWONGMETHA
Thai Rescuers Drill Over 100 ‘Chimneys’ into Mountain to Reach Trapped Soccer Team – ReportsRescuers reportedly began the mission at 10a.m. local time (03:00 GMT) and the extraction of the trapped soccer team and their coach would take many hours before the first boy would emerge from the flooded cave, Reuters reported, citing Narongsak Osottanakorn.

The boys, aged 11-16, and their 25-year-old coach from the Thai youth soccer team “Wild Boar” had entered the massive cave network in northern Thailand when it was still dry, but heavy rainfall soon flooded the exit tunnel, stranding them in a chamber, miles inside the system.

Underscoring the perils they face, an experienced Thai Navy SEAL diver died late on Thursday after running out of oxygen and losing consciousness on his way back from a mission to deliver oxygen canisters.

© REUTERS / JORGE SILVA
FIFA Invites Thai Youth Soccer Team Trapped in Thai Cave to World Cup Finals
Authorities initially suggested waiting until the end of the rainy season in fall, but rescuers now warn of the dwindling oxygen level and upcoming monsoonal rains that could flood the cave. However, Thai authorities have chosen the option of drilling the shafts through the mountain where the Tham Luang cave is located.

Narongsak Osottanakorn reportedly said Sunday that rescuers had to act immediately. Heavy rains could make the water rise to the shelf where the children were sitting, reducing the area to “less than 10 square meters,” Osottanakorn said.

“There is no other day that we are more ready than today,” Head of the rescue mission Narongsak Osottanakorn was quoted as saying by AFP. “Otherwise we will lose the opportunity.”

—— AUTO – GENERATED; Published (Halifax Canada Time AST) on: July 08, 2018 at 09:56AM

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