2nd rescue underway at flooded Thai cave

2nd rescue underway at flooded Thai cave

1 NEWS reporter Kimberlee Downs is now in Chiang Rai near the scene of the cave rescue, she says today's mission will be complicated by the fact there are more people to extract, including medics and divers who were stationed in the cave with the group.

A massive worldwide effort involving more than 100 divers and rescue workers brought the first eight boys out through winding and partly-submerged passageways on Sunday and Monday, four a day.

A truck carrying oxygen tanks arrives outside the Tham Luang cave complex, where 12 schoolboys and their soccer coach are trapped inside a flooded cave, in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, July 8, 2018. It was clear doctors were taking a cautious approach. On Tuesday we'll all hold our breath once more, in the hope of seeing them emerge.

Rescue mission chief Narongsak Osottanakorn said it had resumed, with divers re-entering the cave at 11am local time (4pm NZT).

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.

The eight boys brought out by divers over the previous two days are in "high spirits" and have strong immune systems because they are soccer players, a senior health official said.

Narongsak said Monday's rescues involving 18 divers and a support team of 100 had taken nine hours, two fewer than the rescues on Sunday. Pairs of divers shepherded the boys on the long and painstaking journey out of the cave, navigating muddy and silty water through tight passages.

But the chances of monsoon rains sending torrents of water into the cave and making the rescue effort too risky is never far from the minds of everyone involved in the operation. Rescuers sought to take out the boys in the weakest condition first. 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.

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Rescuers made a decision to go ahead with the operation to free them because of fears that waters would rise again.

Highlighting the extreme dangers, a former Thai Navy SEAL died Friday while replenishing the oxygen canisters laid along the route to the boys' damp refuge.

A total of eight boys have now been taken out of the Tham Luang Nang Non cave, according to the Thai navy SEAL group, which has a leading role in the rescue operation.

The boys can all eat bland foods, but they can't eat anything spicy.

Early tests indicate all of the boys could be suffering from lung infections, but only two of the first four boys were confirmed.

"They are happy and miss their home. but they may have to watch the World Cup matches on TV because they are still in quarantine", Dr Jessada said. One local official told Fox News on Monday that they are hoping to finish the job in three days, suggesting that they may plan to extract the remaining trapped boys and their coach on Tuesday, which may allow time for rescuers to test out Musk's invention.

Wearing full-face masks, which are easier for novice divers than traditional respirators, each boy is being accompanied by two divers, who also carry his air supply.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha visited the cave to inspect the operation and was quoted by Narongsak as saying he didn't want to see this kind of incident happen again on Thai soil.

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