First Boys Rescued Emerge

Former navy SEAL died from lack of oxygen while trying to rescue Thai soccer team in cave authorities say

Chiang Rai provincial acting Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn made the comment at a news conference Sunday evening after rescuers extracted four of the boys from the cave where they had been trapped for more than two weeks. Although, dozens more divers are on hand to assist.

Authorities in northern Chiang Rai province began the unsafe mission to bring out the 12 boys and their soccer coach earlier on Sunday.

An additional eight boys, ages 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach are still inside the Tham Luang cave, where they've been trapped by flood waters since June 23.

"We're ready for the operation today", said Narongsak, who said the weather and the water levels in the cave are good. This is expected to further complicate the high-risk rescue operation.

Mirza is the national coordinator of the National Cave Rescue Mission.

Expert divers worked together to rescue guide the boys out through the narrow passageways of the cave.

President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday that USA personnel were on the ground at the cave site assisting in the operation. Elon Musk has also dispatched engineers from Tesla, Space X, and the Boring Company.

That was nearly a week ago, and a Thai navy seal has died trying to rescue the players. Several ambulances were seen coming to and from the cavesite.

The area outside the hospital was cordoned off with police patrolling the area, said a Reuters reporter at the scene.

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Thai media reported one of the four boys was in a critical condition and a family friend told a reporter it was Mongkol, the weakest of the group, whose condition has since stabilised. They have been stuck in the cave since June 23 after heavy rains flooded the Tham Luang Nan Non caves in Chiang Rai, a popular tourist attraction in the region.

Two divers would accompany each boy, guided by rope.

The hundreds of journalists that have been waiting outside the entrance to the cave were moved out and told to go to a different press center set up more than a mile and a half away as the rescue enters full swing.

The rescued boys were rushed to hospital on Sunday night.

Officials said the rescue could take three to four days to complete depending on the rainfall.

An Australian doctor who was part of the rescue mission assessed the boys' health on Saturday night and cleared them for the rescue mission, Reuters said.

Of the 13-strong foreign dive team, three were escorting the children, while the remainder were positioned along the risky first-kilometre stretch, where the boys have to navigate through submerged passageways in some places no more than 600cm wide.

The entire nation is glued to the media coverage of the rescue mission, and Thai authorities have insisted they will not compromise on the safety of the trapped group. Levels have fallen from 15 percent to 20 due to the presence of rescue workers in the cave, reports said.

Those still inside the cave are perched on a small muddy ledge four kilometers (2.5 miles) inside the cave complex, surrounded by flood water and with a limited supply of oxygen.

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