Thai cave rescue sees four more boys freed

Tanya Simon
July 10, 2018

Jesada Chokedamrongsuk, Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Public Health (C) speaks during a news conference at the Chiang Rai Prachanukroh hospital, in Chiang Rai, Thailand, July 10, 2018. It will be longer than previous ones. "But we'll look forward to celebrating the success".

Before the rescue mission began, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Musk tweeted that he was designing an "escape pod" built from "the liquid oxygen transfer tube" of a SpaceX Falcon rocket that could be used as a submarine.

The Tesla founder had the sub made to help rescuers saving the young footballers.

The Guardian reports the head of the joint command centre coordinating the operation, Narongsak Osatanakorn, telling reporters today: "Although [Musk's] technology is good and sophisticated it's not practical for this mission".

Torrential rain had not affected conditions for the rescue operation.

"We were obviously very afraid of any kind of panic from the divers", he said, adding he was in awe of the boys' ability to stay calm.

The plight of the boys and their coach has drawn worldwide attention, with divers, engineers and medics among others flying in from around the world to assist.

Elon Musk says he has visited the flooded cave in northern Thailand where a youth soccer team became trapped and has left a mini-submarine there for future use. The rescue mission is still underway.

He has reportedly also been sharing his portion of food with them during their 17th day underground.

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

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Narongsak would not identify the rescued boys.

Some had even asked for "bread and chocolate spread", he added.

Two of the first boys had mild lung infections which could be pneumonia but, he said, most of the boys were "fine, normal" and had undergone a battery of tests, X-rays, and received vaccinations. 4.08pm: The BBC has released an infographic on how the boys and their football coach are being rescued. Their 25-year-old football coach was the last to come out.

The boys' first words after being freed from the cave was that they miss their homes and are glad.

The other four boys will likely see their parents today.

This means that a total of eleven boys are now out of the caves, and on their way for hospital observation via helicopter.

Four ambulances and a convoy of other vehicles arrived at the cave site Tuesday morning as rains hit the region. After they were found on July 2, officials cautioned it could take some time to get them out, but with heavy rain forecast to hit the region authorities chose to act.

The rescue missions take almost half a day to complete.

Monday's rescue effort took about nine hours, two fewer than the day before, in a sign of growing confidence and expertise.

People across Thailand cheered the rescue operation, including at the Mae Sai Prasitsart school where six of the trapped boys are students.

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