At Least Two Boys Have Reportedly Been Rescued From Thailand Cave


ABC News' Matt Gutman reports on the ongoing effort in Thailand to rescue the trapped soccer players and their coach.

Expert divers Sunday rescued four of 12 boys from a flooded cave in northern Thailand where they were trapped with their soccer coach for more than two weeks, as a risky and complicated plan unfolded amid heavy rain and the threat of rising water underground.

"Now and in the next three or four days, the conditions are ideal [for evacuation] in terms of the water, the weather and the boys' health", said Narongsak, governor of the Chiang Rai province, where the caves are. How he plans to help the worldwide rescue effort is unclear so far.

He also told reporters divers need to place more air canisters along the underwater route to where the boys and their coach have been trapped.

Asked how the authorities had decided which boys were to be taken out first, Mr Narongsak said: "Their health".

Authorities in northern Chiang Rai province began the risky mission to bring out the 12 boys and their football coach earlier on Sunday. They had been missing for 10 days before they were discovered.

Local and global media in Thailand are reporting two of the 12 boys trapped in the flooded Tham Luang cave have been successfully rescued after nearly two weeks. Then in a statement released late Sunday afternoon, Osatanakorn further revealed that "divers will work with medics in the cave to assess the boys' health before determining who will come out first".

Six Australian Federal Police divers are supporting the Thai Navy in the mission, together with a liaison officer and interpreter.

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However another operation commander said the operation would take two to three days to complete, with the boys and their coach being brought out one-by-one, and that the weather conditions would play a role in determining how long it would take. A former Thai navy SEAL passed out while making the dive Friday and died. It's uncertain whether this submarine will be deployed in the next mission, but the next strategy meeting for rescue workers is scheduled for Sunday night. According to the Guardian, the rescue has concluded for the night and will resume in about 10 to 20 hours.

Divers had to hold the boys close to their bodies to bring them out and each had to wear an oxygen mask to enable normal breathing, authorities said.

He also says the families of the boys have been informed about the risky mission.

Engineers have been diverting the water flow into the cave over the past week and pumping it out at a rate of 180,000 litres an hour in an attempt to make it easier for the boys to escape and reduce the amount of time they must spend underwater.

"I'm thinking they're going to be safe and they will be all be rescued soon", said Guerrero.

Among those are USA military partners, British cave diving experts - including the two men who first located the boys a week ago - and rescue workers from Australia, China and other countries.

Dozens of divers have arrived at the cave on Sunday morning.

Rescue teams search the Tham Luang caves for 13 members of an under-16 soccer team, in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, June 25, 2018.