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Rescuers have freed four boys trapped in Thai cave

10 July 2018

The rescue operation is estimated to take 10 hours and end by 9 p.m. local time.

The entire operation to rescue all 13 could last two to four days, depending on weather and water conditions, said army Maj. The rescued children were taken to the hospital, and officials said early Monday that they are strong and safe but need to undergo detailed medical checks. Narongsak said experts told him the new rain could shrink the unflooded space where the boys are sheltering to 108 square feet.

Narongsak Osottanakorn, who has been leading the operation, then confirmed that 18 divers had gone in to get the boys.

An official briefed on the rescue operation said Monday the rescued kids haven't yet been served the chicken dish but are starting instead with lighter blander food such as diluted porridge. Saman Kunan, a former officer in Thailand's elite Navy SEALs lost his life on Thursday after he was sent to lay oxygen tanks inside of an escape route, ABC reports.

Ambulances and helicopters are on standby to aid the remaining boys and their coach, who have been trapped underground for more than two weeks.

Thai officials have been tight-lipped about the rescue operation, and would not comment on how many people were removed Monday.

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"We surveyed the cave to find good spots that we could say OK, from this route to this route, if anything unexpected or there's a panic, we go here, and in this other part, if any panic happens, this is where we're gonna go", he said.

Three ambulances carried the boys to safety, CNN reported.

The 12 boys - ages 11 to 16 - entered the massive cave complex on the frontier of Thailand and Myanmar with their 25-year-old coach on June 23.

"We are so happy to rescue another four", he said.

President Donald Trump on Sunday took partial credit for the rescue of several of the dozen young Thai soccer players who managed to get trapped in a flooded cave. Each boy was accompanied by two divers in an arduous journey through a mile of underwater tunnels.

The billionaire entrepreneur has been tweeting proposals and offering his services to the Thai government in its efforts to extract the 12 boys and their soccer coach from a partially flooded cave.

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But with oxygen levels inside dropping to unsafe lows and the prospect of heavy rains flooding the area completely, authorities decided they had to move quickly, and take the group out through the water-filled tunnels.

Thailand's Meteorological Department said there was a 60 percent chance of rain Monday with thunderstorms forecast throughout the week.

Dozens of foreign divers and other experts from around the world were brought in to help the rescue effort, working along side Thai Navy SEALs.

He added that he is sending engineers from two of his companies, SpaceX and The Boring Company, to travel to Thailand to offer further assistance. They had been missing for 10 days before they were discovered.

Narongsak would not identify the rescued boys. It's a race against time, as the impending rainy season could soon intensify the flooding in the caves and make the situation much worse than it already is.

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Rescuers have freed four boys trapped in Thai cave