Rain adds urgency to rescue of last five trapped in cave

Desiree Burns
July 10, 2018

Technology billionaire Elon Musk went into the cave on Monday and left the rescue team with a "kid-sized" submarine his company SpaceX had built, Thailand's interior Minister Anupong Paochinda said.

The boys and their coach, all from the "Wild Boars" soccer team, became trapped by rainy season floodwater on June 23rd when they had set out to explore the vast cave complex after soccer practice.

Four other youngsters and their soccer coach are still inside. Rescue operations have halted for the night and will restart on Tuesday.

Thai policemen secure the road leading to Tham Luang cave area as rescue operations continue for those still trapped inside the cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province on July 9, 2018.

However, organisers, declined to confirm whether they would attempt to bring all five out in the third push, with the plan so far being to bring out four at a time.

"I beg Phra Pirun because the Meteorological Department said that from Monday on there will be continuous rain", Bancha said. Divers escorted the children, who wore equipment to help them breathe. Other divers were on guard along the unsafe first kilometer of the passageway.

At a news conference, Jedsada Chokdumrongsuk, permanent secretary at the Public Health Ministry, said the first four boys rescued, aged 12 to 16, are now able to eat normal food, though they can't yet take the spicy food favoured by many Thais.

For the first four rescues on Sunday, two divers accompanied each boy, one from the side and one from behind.

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The British Cave Rescue Council (BCRC) confirmed that seven divers from the United Kingdom with "expertise in cave diving" are assisting. Highlighting the extreme dangers, a former Thai Navy SEAL died Friday while replenishing the oxygen canisters laid along the route.

The boys appear to be in good health and their medical care is more of a precaution, CNN reports.

"The water level is still at a satisfactory level and we have enough teams to complete the mission", Narongsak said on Monday.

In the second day of the long, complicated and high-stakes rescue missions, a second group of four boys emerged on Monday.

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. He said rescuers told the parents that the "strongest children" would be brought out first. "We've used all the oxygen", Osatanakorn told reporters.

The boys underwent x-rays and blood tests and two who had signs of pneumonia were given antibiotics and are in a "normal state", he said, adding they will all remain under observation in hospital for a week. "From what I've seen in the clip, they did look skinny", he said.

People around the world are following the developments in Thailand. "Very fearless and talented people!"

And Gianna Infantino, the president of Federation Internationale de Football Association, soccer's governing body, has invited the boys to the World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday. George Grow was the editor.

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