Thai Cave Rescue: Divers Make Final Push to Save Remaining Boys, Coach

Thai Cave Rescue: Divers Make Final Push to Save Remaining Boys, Coach

Officials are hoping that the final phase of the rescue can be completed in four or five hours, Narongsak said, according to Thai Public Broadcasting.

The four who were rescued previously were taken to a hospital in Chiang Rai for evaluation.

It may be a race against rain for the rescuers.

Osatanakorn said conditions in the cave had not changed much despite the heavy rain. But rescue officials were also anxious about dwindling oxygen levels in the cave. Four children were freed that first day and transported to an area hospital.

The rescue mission is expected to resume Tuesday morning local time to bring out the remainder of the team.

The final part of the operation to rescue a boys' football team from a cave in Thailand has begun.

Four boys were rescued on Sunday and four were rescued on Monday. "For safety, the best number is four". Divers escorted the children, who wore equipment to help them breathe.

Eight of the boys were taken out of the cave during the first two days of rescue operations, but five others remain trapped on a ledge 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) inside the cave system.

Thai officials started the rescue operation on Sunday as weather experts predicted more rain in the coming weeks. Each boy was accompanied underwater by two divers helping them navigate the dark, murky water in the flooded tunnels. But in the past few days, they have avoided the heavy downpours that can flood the cave.

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Divers, engineers, medics and others have flown in from around the world to assist.

The Thai Navy SEAL wrote on Facebook on Tuesday it's expecting day three's rescue operations to be longer than previous days. "His determination and good intention will always be in the heart of all SEAL brothers".

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"Everyone is in a good mental state", he told reporters in the clearest update yet on the health of the boys.

Jesada Chokdumrongsuk, permanent secretary at the Public Health Ministry, told a joint press conference on Tuesday morning that despite being healthy, the boys have to remain in hospital for at least a week.

But the early signs were promising, with X-rays and blood tests showing just two had signs of pneumonia and that they were in a "normal state" after taking antibiotics, Jedsada said.

So far the group have been "kept away" from physical contact with their parents until the risk of infection is over and doctors have only allowed family and loved ones to see them through glass. The second group is still eating "medical food".

Fifa's president invited the team to fly to Russian Federation to watch the World Cup final, which is scheduled to take place on Sunday. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha visited the cave to inspect the operation and was quoted by Narongsak as saying he didn't want to see this kind of incident happen again on Thai soil.

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