Eight Down Five To Go As Thai Rescue Resumes
Witnesses report seeing an eighth person carried out of a flooded cave complex in Thailand as the major international rescue operation continues.
Earlier today, the fifth, sixth and seventh people were rescued and carried towards waiting helicopters to be rushed to hospital.
Four people have now been carried to safety today.
Four others were successfully brought to safety yesterday more than two weeks after their ordeal began.
They are described as being in "good health" in hospital.
The operation was postponed overnight because of heavy rain. Divers also needed to replace the air tanks that were left at strategic points along the escape route.
Each of the four boys rescued on Sunday were accompanied by two expert divers as they were gradually extracted.
Thai Navy SEAL announcement: "The fourth wild boar is out of the cave."
Their only way out was through dark, tight passageways filled with muddy water and strong currents - perilous conditions that claimed the life of a former Thai navy SEAL earlier this week.
One diver told Reuters: "It's dangerous to the most experienced divers to go through. It's pretty scary."
After leaving the Tham Luang cave, the boys were flown by helicopter to the nearby city of Chiang Rai, where ambulances took them to hospital.
Helicopters wait near the cave in Chiang Rai, Thailand, 09-07-2018. Image: Xinhua/Rachen Sageamsak
Andy Eavis from the World Caving Association says the youngsters have so far been “calm and collected.”
“They were all in pretty good spirits so that suggests that these are cool customers who are capable of doing things that they have never done before without panicking.
“That obviously bodes very well for them putting on a face mask and swimming underwater – moving underwater; swimming really is not the right word.”
Thai soldiers try to connect water pipes that will help bypass water from entering ther cave where 12 boys and their soccer coach are trapped, 07-07-2018. Image: Sakchai Lalit/AP/Press Association Images
Millions of litres of water have been pumped out in recent days, but experts have warned that further downpours could shrink the unflooded space where the boys are sheltering to just 10 square metres (108 square feet).
Governor Narongsak Osatanakor warned: “Finding the boys doesn't mean we have finished our mission. It is only a small battle we have won, but the war has not ended.”
“The war ends when we win all three battles - the battles to search, rescue and send them home.”