The second phase of a rescue operation has ended for the day, with more than half of the Thai soccer team rescued from the cave.
Rescuing the remaining boys and coach could take two to four days, and depended on the weather, an army commander involved in the mission said. According to NBC News, the twelve boys, ages 11 to 16, and their 25-year old coach entered the caves two weeks ago but were trapped after rain caused flooding.
Aged between 11 and 17, they belong to a football club called the Wild Boars, and became trapped during an excursion with their coach.
The four boys pulled from the cave Sunday in an urgent and risky operation that involved them diving through the cave's dark, tight and twisting passages were happy and in good health, authorities said.
The four rescued boys on Sunday had to travel about 2 1/2 miles with oxygen tanks, making their way back to the cave's entrance using a 3-mile rope.
The eight boys freed from the cave were quickly transferred to Chiang Rai Prachanukroh hospital, where they were put in isolation to determine they are clear of infection, the Guardian reported.
Rescue mission chief Narongsak Osottanakorn said it had resumed, with divers re-entering the cave at 11am local time (4pm NZT). Monsoon flooding blocked off their escape and prevented rescuers from finding them for nearly 10 days.
They will join four other boys who were rescued on Sunday.
Musk also said that a second sub, which is apparently 30cm shorter than the first one designed, was nearly complete, meaning that more than one device would be available for the rescues. Eight of the boys have been rescued so far, and rescuers are now gearing up to get the final four boys and their coach out.
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Thirteen foreign divers and five members of Thailand's elite Navy SEAL unit make up the main team guiding the boys to safety.
Rescuers working at a cave site in northern Thailand have suspended operations for the day after bringing four more boys out of the flooded cave system on Monday.
Following the initial rescues Sunday, the operation was paused for about 10 hours while divers replenished air tanks along the exit tunnel.
He said the last five survivors in the cave were in good health, adding that those who are now at the hospital could not eat fried rice yet because they will have to adjust themselves with the eating.
Rescuers have been navigating a risky and complicated plan to get the children out under the threat of heavy rain and rising water underground.
Finally, Elon Musk tasked SpaceX engineers with crafting a special tiny submarine that could be used during the rescue, and the tech guru says the device is operational. On Tuesday we'll all hold our breath once more, in the hope of seeing them emerge.
Heavy monsoon rains lashed the mountainous Chiang Rai region, where the Tham Luang Nang Non cave is situated, for several hours overnight on Sunday. Doctors and nurses at a triage camp set up just inside the mouth of the cave gave the boys quick physicals before they were sent to the hospital in Chiang Rai.
And, Foisey said, the boys do have one thing going for them: "I'm sure these kids were very determined to get home".
In a letter of his own, the coach, Ekapol Chanthawong, apologized to the boys' parents for the ordeal.