Thai cave rescue: Second phase underway for 9 still trapped

Four Of The Boys Trapped In Thai Cave Rescued

Night's relatives have said they believe the group went to the cave to celebrate his 16th birthday after a Saturday football practice and got caught as heavy rains caused the water inside the cave to suddenly rise. Days after the stranded team was found, a former diver in the Thai SEAL unit died after volunteering to enter the caves and place air tanks along the path.

"The prime minister said that this kind of event should never happen again on Thai soil", Narongsak told reporters.

The soccer team had been trapped in the underground cave network since June 23, with flash floods causing water levels to rise, making it hard to get out.

Thai soldiers walk out from the Tham Luang cave area as operations continue for the 8 boys and their coach trapped at the cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province on July 9, 2018.

There is no word on the conditions of the boys and coach rescued on Tuesday. It is a race against the clock with heavy rain expected in coming days, which would again dangerously flood the tunnels.

News of the release of the first four children on Sunday was greeted with elation in Thailand but rescuers say there are still significant risks with a majority of the boys still to undertake the risky 3.2km (2 mile) journey through the jagged, narrow and muddy cave.

Having completed this section, the boys are then handed over to separate, specialist rescue teams, who help assist them through the remainder of the cave, much of which they can wade through.

A total of eight boys were removed from the cave on Sunday and Monday.

Thai authorities said the parents of the four boys rescued Sunday are still being kept from physical contact with them due to fear of infections.

Narongsak Osottanakorn, the rescue mission chief, said that the same divers who carried out the operation yesterday are also involved in the second phase, along with additional personnel.

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Cave rescue experts have said it could be safest to simply supply the boys where they are for now, and wait for the water to go down either naturally or by pumping. There was no word on the condition of the fifth boy brought out earlier on Monday.

Officials have yet to confirm the identities of the four boys freed.

Chiang Rai health officials have told the Thai media that the families of the children can see them later tonight but "no hugging, no kissing" until their blood results are known.

Thailand's Health Secretary said last week that on arrival at the hospital the boys would need to be quarantined for one to two days before being allowed to see their families.

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

"This morning they said they were hungry and wanted to eat khao pad grapao", Narongsak said, referring to a Thai dish of meat fried with chili and basil and served over rice.

"I'm hoping for good news today", he said.

Xylem, which has a market capitalization of about US$12 billion, has previously helped in rescue operations after mine collapses in Pennsylvania and Chile.

"I feel very happy, everybody is happy", said Hnin Jaiwong, the mother of one of the trapped boys, 13-year-old Sompong Jaiwong.

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