Several Boys Freed and Hospitalized
Efforts to free the soccer team and coach trapped inside of a flooded cave in Thailand will resume Monday.
Sunday, rescue workers were able to successfully extract four of the 12 boys. They were rushed to the hospital and are under observation. Reports indicate they are all doing well.
*UPDATE* 9:25AM ET
A witness told CNN rescuers successfully rescued four more boys. However, the Associated Press reported Thai authorities have remained “tight-lipped about the rescue operation and would not comment on how many people were removed Monday.” The authorities have halted the rescue operation for the day.
If true, then four boys and the coach remain in the cave.
From CBS News:
Four people were rescued Sunday from a flooded cave in Thailand where they were trapped for 16 days. The team of divers is expected to resume the mission Monday to rescue the remaining eight boys and their soccer coach.
The boys, ages 11-16, and their 25-year-old coach became stranded when they went exploring in the cave after a practice game. Monsoon flooding blocked off their escape and prevented rescuers from finding them for almost 10 days.
The four who were rescued were taken to a hospital in Chiang Rai for evaluation. Two divers were assigned to each child to help them navigate the dangerous, narrow passageways. The next phase could begin Monday after rescue teams replenish the supply of oxygen tanks along the route. It could take two to four days complete the mission, officials said.
On Friday, the death of a former Thai navy SEAL underscored the risks. The diver, the first fatality of the rescue effort, was working in a volunteer capacity and died on a mission to place oxygen canisters along the route.
Chiang Rai acting Gov. Narongsak Osottanakorn said Saturday that mild weather and falling water levels in recent days had created the “perfect” conditions for an underwater evacuation. Those conditions won’t last if the rain resumes, he said.
Heavy rain started falling as soon as the four were removed from the cave. Narongsak said experts told him the new rain could shrink the unflooded space where the boys are sheltering to 108 square feet.
CBS News correspondent Anna Werner reports from northern Thailand that “everyone is praying” from the boys trapped in a cave for more than two weeks.
“I think there is a sort of community spirity of everyone coming together,” Werner said.
Elon Musk, gazillionaire tech guy, had a SpaceX team reach out to Thai officials. In the meantime, he suggested inflatable tubes as a possible way to get the remaining kids and couch out.
Simulating maneuvering through a narrow passage pic.twitter.com/2z01Ut3vxJ
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 9, 2018
Maybe worth trying: insert a 1m diameter nylon tube (or shorter set of tubes for most difficult sections) through cave network & inflate with air like a bouncy castle. Should create an air tunnel underwater against cave roof & auto-conform to odd shapes like the 70cm hole.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 6, 2018
Sgt. Saman Kunan (pictured in featured image) died while placing oxygen tanks. The former Thai Navy SEAL did not save enough oxygen for his return journey. He passed out underwater and efforts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.
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