Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
World News | By Joan Terry

Rescue of trapped children begins

Rescue of trapped children begins

A risky mission to rescue 12 Thai schoolboys and their soccer coach trapped inside a flooded cave for more than two weeks began on Sunday and authorities managed to bring out its first two survivors on Sunday evening.

Four boys among a group of 13 trapped in a flooded Thai cave for more than a fortnight were rescued on Sunday, authorities said, raising hopes elite divers would also quickly save the others.

The operation to rescue the boys, ages 11-16, and their 25-year-old coach by having them dive out of the flooded cave began on Sunday morning (local time), with expert divers entering the sprawling complex for the complicated and unsafe mission. The rising water filled large stretches of the cave, cutting off the team's escape route and keeping rescuers from finding the team for 10 days, CBS News noted.

The order to leave the site came as irritation over the media presence grew, and a day after the rescue mission chief said conditions were flawless for the evacuation to begin. I've told Yod to get ready to take me out for fried chicken.

"Teacher, don't give us lots of homework!" read one. The group was found alive in a small cave chamber on Monday after nine days, mounting an worldwide rescue effort with experts weighing in from all over the world.

"Today is D-Day", Gov. Narongsak Osattanakorn of the Chiang Rai region in Thailand said Sunday.

Narongsak said the first boy was expected to be brought out of the cave by around 9:00 p.m. (1400 GMT) after navigating the planned six-hour journey. A former Thai navy SEAL died making the dive on Friday.

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Narongsak said Australian doctors had examined the footballers and determined they were strong enough for the extraction to begin. According to the Guardian, the rescue has concluded for the night and will resume in about 10 to 20 hours. It is only a small battle we've won, but the war has not ended.

When the boys are freed, they will immediately be taken to Chiangrai Prachanukroh hospital, around 60 miles from the cave site.

The combination has rescuers racing against both continued monsoonal rains this weekend and oxygen levels that have dropped from 21% to 15%.

The Thai navy SEALS confirmed that four boys have left the cave.

A Thai policeman guards an area under rainfall near the Tham Luang cave at the Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province, July 7, 2018.

It is not yet known whether the boys swum out, or if they were sedated and delivered by the rescuers.

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