The first two schoolboys have emerged from a flooded Thai cave after divers launched a daring and unsafe mission to rescue the children and their soccer coach, who have been trapped underground for more than two weeks, a Thai official said.
Asked if the remaining five would be shuttled out together, rescue operations chief Narongsak Osottanakorn said it was up to the divers whose meticulous plans, including stashing extra oxygen tanks along the route, are "set for four people, if we bring five we have to change the plan".
Dr. Harris on Saturday undertook the unsafe dive to reach the 12 Thai boys and their coach and later gave the final approval on the boys' health, clearing the way for the rescue attempt which commenced yesterday and succeed in bringing out four of the survivors, the paper reported.
The mission to save all the trapped is a race against the clock with heavy rain expected this week which would again flood the tunnels with fast-flowing, rising water.
The boys, ranging in age from 11-16, have been trapped in the cave system since June 23, after heavy rains flooded the cave system.
Interior Minister Anupong Paojina said the same divers who participated in Sunday's rescue conducted the operation Monday because they are familiar with the cave conditions.
Health experts with the rescued boys will be checking oxygen, malnutrition, dehydration, post-traumatic stress and other psychological effects, CNN reports.
Musk on Sunday shared photos and videos of a small submarine-like vessel that could help rescue the group stranded on a muddy ledge about 2.5 miles from the cave's main entrance, and about half a mile below the surface.
The four boys who have already been rescued have been placed in quarantine to avoid the risk of infection.
The boys, who have not been identified, were kept away from visitors due to concerns about possible infection.More news: The Rockets should sign Carmelo Anthony, but only under these conditions
The extraction of the four on Monday followed a similar pattern to the previous day, with the youngsters emerging in quick succession just before nightfall after navigating a treacherous escape route of more than four kilometres.
Phuwadech Kamnguen, a 14-year-old best friend of one of the trapped boys, said he's looking forward to eating KFC with the team again.
Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha arrived in Chiang Rai and visited the eight rescued boys in the hospital Monday night, according to Osatanakorn.
Paramedics with a stretcher believed to be carrying one of the boys from the soccer team in Chiang Rai on Sunday.
The second group of four rescued on Monday are aged 12 to 14.
Lastly came Pipat Bodhu, 15, aka Nick, who was not even in the team but came along as a friend of the goalkeeper.
The operation on Monday went more smoothly than on Sunday and took two hours less as the practice became more refined, he said. They were in good condition in hospital, officials said.
The remaining nine boys are still at the location where divers had found them about 500 metres from the so-called Pattaya Beach.
Relatives said the boys had been inside the complex during the dry season.