The disappearance of the boys and their novice monk turned soccer coach from this small town on the Thailand-Myanmar border - remarkably found alive nine days after they went missing June 23 - launched an extraordinary saga of global cooperation and ingenuity, as experts from many fields planned how to maneuver all 13 out alive.
It was the third consecutive day of rescues during a break in the seasonal rains that have lashed northern Thailand and set off flash floods that left the 12 players and their coach stranded inside the caverns more than two weeks ago.
The second day of rescue operations began at 11 am local time (9.30 pm IST).
Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda told reporters the rescued boys were in good health in hospital but did not give further details.
Witnesses say the boys freed Monday were treated at a make-shift hospital at the site, before being taken to a local hospital.
Reuters could not confirm the identity of the two people brought out in the evening and the chief of the rescue mission, Narongsak Osottanakorn, asked about the two, declined to comment, saying a news conference would be held soon.
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. Four more boys and their coach still remain inside the cave. Having completed this section, the boys are then handed over to separate, specialist rescue teams, who help assist them through the remainder of the cave, much of which they can wade through.
Hundreds of spectators and journalists have gathered in the area around the cave, hoping for news that the boys and their coach would emerge safely.
The rescued kids are now in the hospital, where they should receive the proper care before being released to their families.More news: Brett Kavanaugh: 5 Things On Trump’s Supreme Court Justice Nominee
Getty Thailand cave rescue: What time is it in Thailand now? Only four boys and their 25-year-old coach now remain inside.
After his visit, he went to Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital to visit the rescued boys.
"If Phra Pirun helps us, we might be able to do it very quickly", Narongsak said, again invoking the god of rain, who is widely revered in Thailand.
The perilous rescues have involved two divers accompanying each of the boys, all of whom have been learning to dive only since July 2, when searchers found them.
On Sunday, officials decided they could no longer wait, saying conditions were "as flawless as they will be" for a rescue attempt.
Thirteen foreign divers and five members of Thailand's elite navy SEAL unit are the main team guiding the boys to safety through narrow, submerged passageways that claimed the life of a former Thai navy diver on Friday.
A Royal Thai Police helicopter airlifts the fifth boy from a makeshift pad in Mae Sai district to Wing 416 in Muang district in Chiang Rai on Monday. Heavy rain flooded the cave entrance after they entered it, trapping them inside. He said rescuers told the parents that the "strongest children" would be brought out first.
A hospital spokesperson told media the priority was to make sure the children were safe. We've got good news for you. On top of all the concerns inside the cave, Thailand's rainy season is looming.
Eight boys are still inside the cave and along with the team coach.