Thai cave rescue: Boys in quarantine at hospital unable to see family

Fighting time, high waters, divers prepare to rescue second group of Thai boys from cave

Like much of the world, Patrick Decker has been engrossed in the saga of 12 boys trapped with their soccer coach in a flooded cave in northern Thailand.

A device by Elon Musk's SpaceX and The Boring Company, created to help rescue the remaining members of a soccer team trapped in a flooded cave in Chiang Rai, Thailand, is being tested in a swimming pool in Los Angeles, California, in this still image taken from an undated video obtained from social media.

The foursome were taken to Prachanukroh hospital in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand, where they have undergone a number of tests, x-rays and health checks.

But with oxygen levels inside dropping to risky 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.

On Sunday, divers held the first four boys close to bring them out, and each had to wear an oxygen mask to enable normal breathing, authorities said.

Paramedics with a stretcher believed to be carrying one of the boys from the soccer team in Chiang Rai on Sunday.

US Embassy Bangkok spokesman Steve Castonguay said: "The US will remain here to continue to support this operation until all the soccer players and their coach have been rescued".

The young boys, who were accompanied by their 25-year-old coach after football training on June 2, were trapped in the cave when a heavy storm caused a blockage at the entrance.

Musk willingness to help manifested itself since last week, when he said he will be sending a Boring company team to the site.

The death Friday of a former Thai navy SEAL underscored the risks.




Officials have said storms forecast for the province had factored into their decision to go ahead with a complicated and unsafe plan to have the boys and their coach dive out of the cave.

They were finally found by a team of British divers and have since been receiving oxygen and food while waiting to be brought out.

When it was realised that the boys were in the cave system, divers began the process of trying to find them in the enormous area.

"Today was the best situation - in terms of the children's health, water and our rescue readiness", said Mr Narongsak, now governor of Phayao province but still head of the joint command centre coordinating the rescue.

Somboon Sompiangjai, 38, the father of one of the trapped boys, said parents were told by rescuers ahead of Sunday's operation the "strongest children" would be brought out first.

He added that the rescue operation took nine hours, two hours quicker than the mission on Sunday that saw the first four boys rescued from the cave complex.

A search and rescue operation was mounted soon after they were reported missing, and military divers have since rescued five of the boys. Seven boys remain trapped inside with their coach.

One boy asked for a fried chicken dinner.

"We've used all the oxygen", Osatanakorn told reporters.

"I'm hoping for good news", he said. On top of all the concerns inside the cave, Thailand's rainy season is looming.

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