Thai cave rescue: How a casual expedition turned into a nightmare

Lynette Rowe
July 9, 2018

Six boys have exited a flooded cave in northern Thailand where they have been trapped for more than two weeks, a senior member of rescue operation's medical team said on Sunday, according to multiple reports.

The boys were immediately taken to the hospital for evaluation after being trapped underground for almost two weeks.

Addressing media earlier today, Chaing Rai governor Narongsak Osottanakorn said that all those trapped in the cave are now aware of efforts to rescue them and "they're ready to go out".

An experienced group of divers today began the extremely unsafe operation to extract 12 boys and their soccer coach who have been trapped in a flooded cave complex in northern Thailand for over two weeks. "Today is D-Day", he said.

On Saturday, rescue mission chief Narongsak said conditions were "perfect" to evacuate the team in the coming days before fresh rains and a possible rise in carbon dioxide further imperil the group.

The 12 boys and their coach were exploring the cave when they became trapped by flood waters on 23 June. The boys' ordeal of the has drawn huge media attention in Thailand and overseas, and getting the boys out safely could be a boost for Thailand's junta ahead of a general election next year.

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The rescue will resume after authorities assess conditions in the cave, get a briefing on the initial rescues and replenish the oxygen tanks, Chiang Rai provincial Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said at a press conference.

It was unclear who was inside the ambulances or the helicopter. The rescue operation has come to a close for the night and will resume in 10-20 hours. The group was found alive in a small cave chamber on Monday after nine days, mounting an global rescue effort with experts weighing in from all over the world. Each wore a full-faced diving mask and was escorted out by two divers. "Love you all", wrote one of the boys named Mick.

But early on Sunday, journalists were told they had to move down the road, sparking speculation that a rescue mission was about to begin.

Meanwhile, efforts are on to save the children from the caverns as rain water has filled the rescue route.

But the government has been pumping water from the caves, and a good weather day combined with relatively lower waters made the authorities put their plan in motion.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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