Phase two of Thai cave rescue underway

Phase two of Thai cave rescue underway

Four boys among 12 who were stuck in the flooded cave in Thailand's northern province of Chiang Rai were rescued on Monday, the Thai Navy SEAL said in a Facebook post. The boys are all part of a Thai soccer team that went missing weeks ago - before they were found on a rock shelf deep in the flooded cave.

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.

He added that the divers were the "same multinational team" that rescued the four boys on Sunday. The let-up in rains and overcast conditions in the afternoon, facilitated the rescue efforts and raised hopes of rescuing the rest of the 13-member team, including their coach.

The rescued children have been complaining they are hungry and demanding fried rice, Narongsak Osottanakorn, the head of the rescue operation told reporters. Seven boys remain trapped inside with their coach.

Rescuers are hustling to bring the remaining members of the Wild Boar soccer to out of the Tham Luang Nang Non cave before monsoon rainstorm forecast for the area strikes and threaten to flood the cave again.

The same elite divers involved in Sunday's rescue would conduct the next one, given their knowledge of the cave conditions, Thailand's interior minister said in a statement. He said the mission would resume within "10 to 20 hours". Over the next three hours, they brought out three other boys, a source close to the operation told ABC News.

That brought the total number of boys rescued to five.

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A video published by the Thai PBS channel earlier on Monday also showed a person on a stretcher - most likely the first boy to be rescued on Monday - being transferred to a helicopter.

"They have had to make a quick decision because they are really concerned about the water level rising".

It's a process that can take several hours.

The rescued boys were immediately taken to hospital to undergo medical tests.

"I watch the news on my phone, my mom is watching on TV", said Chokumpompan, who graduated from the same school that six of the boys attend, Mae Si Prasitsart School.

Former Thai navy SEAL Saman Kunan passed out making the dive on Friday and died. Narongsak on Monday said their identities were being protected out of respect for the families of those still trapped inside the cave.

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