The Latest: 3rd Thai cave rescue mission underway
MAE SAI, Thailand (AP) — The Latest on the rescue of a youth soccer team from a flooded cave in Thailand (all times local):
The Thai official overseeing the effort to rescue members of a teen soccer team trapped in a flooded cave says a third rescue operation has begun Tuesday and aims to bring out the remaining four boys and their coach.
Chiang Rai Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn says the rescue mission began at 10.08 a.m. and involves 19 divers. He said a medic and three SEALS in the cave, who’ve been looking after those trapped, will also come out.
Narongsak said, “We expect that if there is no unusual condition ... the 4 boys, 1 coach, the doctor, and 3 SEALs who have been with the boys since first day will come out today.”
The eight boys rescued after being trapped for more than two weeks were described as generally healthy.
A Thai public health official says the eight boys rescued from a flooded cave in northern Thailand are in “high spirits” and have strong immune systems because they are soccer players.
Jesada Chokdumrongsuk, deputy director-general of the Public Health Ministry, said Tuesday that the first four boys rescued, aged 12 to 16, are now able to eat normal food.
He said two of them possibly have a lung infection but all eight are generally “healthy and smiling.”
He said, “the kids are footballers so they have high immune systems.”
The second group of four rescued on Monday are aged 12 to 14.
Family members have seen at least some of the boys from behind a glass barrier.
Four boys and their soccer coach remain in the cave.
Three ambulances along with cars, hummers and soldiers have been seen entering the cave site where rescuers have been carrying out a high-stakes operation to bring out trapped members of a youth soccer team.
Heavy rains lashed the northern Thai region late Monday and a steady downpour has continued Tuesday.
After divers brought out four of the boys Monday evening, authorities indicated the rescue operation would continue for a third day. But they also warned heavy rain could hamper their efforts.
The rescue missions take nearly half a day to complete. Monday’s mission took about nine hours, two fewer than Sunday’s.
So far eight of the boys have been rescued. The team’s 25-year-old coach and four boys are still deep inside the flooded and sprawling cave.
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 tech entrepreneur tweeted Tuesday morning he’d “Just returned from Cave 3,” referring to the rescuers’ command center inside the sprawling cave. He posted photos of the cave interior and a video showing people working their way through chest-high water.
Musk has offered a “kid-sized” submarine, named Wild Boar after the kids’ soccer team, to help in the rescue operation. He posted videos of the sub being tested in a swimming pool in California with simulated narrow passages like the cave.
Divers have rescued eight of the boys. Four boys and the coach are still deep inside, and authorities have indicated they’re continuing with their so-far successful effort to bring the boys out guided by experienced divers.