Thai Cave Rescue: Sixth Boy Leaves, Six Soccer Players and Coach Remain

After the boys were located they were able to communicate to their family through letters

It was clear doctors were taking a cautious approach. If the rain god helps us, then we may be able to work fast. "My losses are little in comparison".

Narongsak Osatanakorn, the former Chiang Rai governor who's been heading the rescue operation, said the four children had to dive more than half a mile to get to safety.

Thai officials had said Sunday that they were temporarily suspending the rescue effort so they could replenish oxygen supplies and other gear.

But although the eight were rescued, there were concerns they may have contracted an illness while in the cave. The official declined to be identified as he was not authorised to speak to the media.

Among those are U.S. military partners, British cave diving experts - including the two men who first located the boys a week ago - and rescue workers from Australia, China and other countries. "I'm so happy the children came out safely".

Monday's mission involved 18 divers from Thailand and overseas. Last Monday they were discovered huddled on a narrow rock shelf deep within the flooded cave system.

The names of those rescued have not been released.

A soccer coach and 12 young boys were trapped for more than a week, as rescuers fight monsoon rains that have flooded the passageway.

He told reporters the four rescued boys were taken to the hospital in the town of Chiang Rai, the provincial capital, for evaluation, and the next phase of the operation will resume after about 10-20 hours.

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Narongsak said rescuers had to tighten a guide rope as part of their preparations before this second phase of the rescue on Monday.

On June 23, a group of 12 boys from a local football team in Northern Thailand went missing along with their 25-year-old coach, when they set out to explore a local cave.

Police and military personnel use umbrellas to cover around a stretcher near a helicopter and an ambulance at a military airport in Chiang Rai on July 9, 2018, as rescue operations continue for those still trapped inside the cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest.

The foursome were taken to Prachanukroh hospital in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand, where they have undergone a number of tests, x-rays and health checks. The four evacuated on Monday were also hospitalized, although their condition was not announced. "But they still need to be kept away from their parents and others", he said.

One potentially fatal disease they could have contracted in the cave is histoplasmosis, a lung infection derived from fungus spores found in bat droppings.

The eight boys brought out by divers over the previous two days are in "high spirits" and have strong immune systems because they are soccer players, a senior health official said.

"We have not been told which child has been brought out".

Narongsak said after the first four boys were rescued that they would be quarantined "for a while because we are concerned about infections".

But Narongsak said earlier that recent mild weather and falling water levels had created optimal conditions for an underwater evacuation.

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