8 boys freed from Thai cave; rescuers working to save 5 others


"All conditions are still as good as they were yesterday, " Narongsak told a news conference. "We heard four boys are out but we do not know who they are. And we will do it faster because we are afraid of the rain".

Remember those soccer boys who spent more than two weeks in a Thai cave after water from heavy rain blocked their exit?

A fifth boy was brought out earlier on Monday, a navy official said.

Four boys were successfully rescued from the Tham Laung cave area on Sunday in a delicate and lengthy operation. They are also working with the families to prepare for how to interact with the boys once they get out, such as not digging for details about what they endured.

Four boys were previously pulled from the cave on Sunday.

Paojinda said officials met Monday morning to discuss the next stage of the operation and how to extract the remaining nine people from the flooded cave.

The next phase of the operation would start sometime today after rescue teams replenish the supply of oxygen tanks along the route. On Monday, four more were rushed to a hospital.

The evacuation procedure calls for the boys to receive initial medical treatment there before rescuers take them through the remaining stretch of the cave to a field hospital outside, and then transport them by helicopter or ambulance to join their colleagues at the hospital.

The soccer team seen in the cave last week, before anyone was rescued.

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

The story of the boys and their novice monk-turned-soccer coach from this small town on the Thai-Myanmar border - remarkably found alive nine days after they went missing June 23 - launched an global rescue effort and intricate planning on how to maneuver all 13 safely through the narrow passageways and ink-black waters.

Although weak, they are largely in good health, authorities have said.

Thailand officials have not released the names of the boys rescued, so as not to upset the parents of any child still trapped.

The potential for rising water and the dwindling oxygen levels added to the urgency of getting the team out. Heavy rain has struck the region intermittently over the last three days and further downpours could set back draining efforts at the cave. The boys and their coach went exploring in the massive Tham Luang Nang Non cave on June 23 after a soccer practice, and were cut off when a rainstorm flooded the cave.

Rescuers are moving ahead quickly because they are afraid monsoon rains will completely flood the caves.

Here are some pictures of the dramatic mission captivating Thailand and the world. Sunday's mission involved 13 foreign divers and five Thai navy SEALs. A frantic rescue mission was hatched in the week since they were found.

On Sunday, Musk tweeted videos of his engineers testing a "kid-size submarine" underwater in Los Angeles - a submarine that apparently is now on its way to Thailand.

All preparations, including replacing the oxygen cylinders positioned along the route out of the cave, take at least 20 hours, he said.