Eight soccer team members rescued from flooded Thai cave, 5 remain trapped

Jacob Goldberg 
american divers arrive at the site

Rescuers in Thailand ended day two of their mission with four more boys freed from the Tham Luang caves on Monday.

The boys, members of the Wild Boars soccer team, were invited to the World Cup Final in Moscow if they make it out in time and can physically handle the trip.

The rescue started at 10 am Thai time and involved 13 global divers and five Thai navy seals, who were described by Governor Narongsak as "an all-star team", reports the Daily Mail.

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

Monsoon flooding cut off their escape route and prevented rescuers from finding them for nearly 10 days.

Four additional boys, along with their 25-year-old soccer coach, remain in the cave and await the next round of rescues, CNN reported.

The risky underwater rescues - considered a last resort - involve two divers accompanying each of the boys, none of whom had experience diving before they were found on July 2.

A cave diver and anaesthetist, Richard Harris, 53, from Adelaide, examined the boys and recommended that the authorities reverse an original plan to start the rescue with the strongest boys.

Workers have been laboring around the clock to pump water out of the cave, and officials said Monday that despite heavy downpours overnight, water levels inside the cave did not rise.

The 12 boys and their coach were found alive late Monday evening (2nd July) about 400 metres beyond an air-pocket area called "Pattaya Beach".

An Australian doctor with cave diving experience examined the boys on Sunday and declared them fit for the operation, authorities said.

Soldiers arrive outside the Tham Luang cave complex in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, July 8, 2018.

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Four of the boys' teammates and Thai dive experts were flown to the same hospital for treatment the day before.

The operation on Monday went more smoothly than on Sunday and took two hours less as the practice became more refined, he said.

"All conditions are still as good as they were yesterday", Chiang Rai acting Gov. Narongsak Osattanakorn said, as relayed by the AP.

Weather forecasters warned heavy rain could hit the area through the week.

Dr Andrea Dese, head of the stress and development lab at Kings College London's Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, said: "In the longer term, most children will recover from the initial emotional symptoms".

Phuwadech said he remains anxious about Tun and the others, particularly after seeing them in videos Thai Navy SEAL divers have taken of the boys inside the cave and posted on Facebook.

"We continue to fully support the multinational rescue effort and pray for the safe return of the remaining members of the team", Manning said.

An official briefed on the rescue operation said Monday the rescued kids haven't yet been served the chicken dish but are starting instead with lighter blander food such as diluted porridge.

Narongsak said that experts told him new rain could shrink the unflooded space where the boys are sheltering to just 10 square meters (108 square feet). His colleagues said they would "not let the sacrifice of our friend go to waste".

Meanwhile, a letter of apology from the coach of the football team was delivered to the boys' parents via the cave divers.

Ambulances parked on standby outside the hospital in Chiang Rai province.

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