Thai Cave Rescue: 8 boys rescued during divers’ 2nd operation

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Rescue divers have rescued a total of 8 boys today, after a second rescue operation to ferry more boys from the northern Thailand cave where they have been trapped for the past 16 days.

CNN reports that divers at the site re-entered the cave to bring out four more boys, after spending more than eight hours on Sunday guiding four of the 12 trapped boys to freedom.

An Official confirmed to The Guardian that the divers re-entered cave at about 11am local time (5am BST). “At 11am we sent the second team,” said Narongsak Osatanakorn, the head of the joint command centre coordinating the operation.

He said the conditions that had triggered Sunday’s operation – declining water levels in the cave, the readiness of rescuers and the physical and mental health of the stranded boys – were the same on Monday morning and the rescue had commenced five hours’ earlier than expected.

“The factors are as good as yesterday [and] the rescue team is the same team with a few replacements for those exhausted,” he said.

The first boy would emerge between 7.30pm and 8.30pm local time, Osatanakorn said. Asked which boys would be coming he said: “The perfect ones, the most ready ones.”

An official from Thailand’s forestry department said water levels were still declining in the cave thanks to thousands of pumps operating inside and had not been substantially affected by the intermittent rain of the past 48 hours. “The water level is not worrisome,” he said.

The boys who were rescued on Sunday were strong and safe but needed to undergo detailed medical checks, interior minister Anupong Paojinda had said earlier on Monday.

The freed children are yet to meet their parents, who late on Sunday night were yet to be told which of their sons had been evacuated.

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