Final Thailand cave rescue mission officially underway

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Look inside the Tham Luang Cave area in northern Chiang Rai province of Thailand to see the hard task of saving the trapped 12 boys and their football coach.

So far eight boys have been rescued from the cave in Chiang Rai province, in the country's mountainous north, but they are being kept in isolation for examination and possible treatment.

Chief of the rescue mission, Narongsak Osottanakorn, declined to comment on the identity of the four people brought out in the evening, saying updates would be supplied at a news conference that is scheduled to be held late on Monday.

Officials will have to spend about 20 hours preparing all the necessary support equipment, said the former governor, adding that he was confident the rescue team would be able to operate with greater ease and to shorten the time spent by between 4-5 hours.

People across Thailand cheered the rescue operation, including at the Mae Sai Prasitsart school where six of the trapped boys are students.

Torrential rain had not affected conditions for the rescue operation. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha was visiting all eight in the nearby hospital that they were helicoptered to, he said.

Four more boys were rescued overnight after the first four emerged yesterday.

In total, 13 foreign cave divers and five Thai navy SEALs participated in Sunday's rescue, according to Reuters.

Boys from the soccer team trapped inside Tham Luang cave covered in hypothermia blankets react to the camera in Chiang Rai, Thailand, in this still image taken from a July 3, 2018 video by Thai Navy Seal.

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Rescuers are racing to save four young footballers and their coach who remain trapped in a flooded Thai cave on Tuesday, as heavy rains threatened an already perilous escape mission that has seen eight of the boys evacuated.

The plight of the boys and their coach has drawn worldwide attention, with divers, engineers and medics among others flying in from around the world to assist.

They are then taken to hospital in Chiang Rai.

For the final operation tomorrow, Mr Narongsak said the rescuers would use the same plan with some adjustments because the number of survivors to be extracted would be five instead of four as was the case for the last two days.

The team's 25-year-old coach and four boys are still deep inside the flooded and sprawling cave.

Monday's mission involved 18 divers from Thailand and overseas.

They were found last Monday by two expert British divers.

Headcam footage posted by The Guardian shows the divers' journey through the dark, wet passages, where a diver died early Friday while delivering oxygen tanks to the cave.

Another and perhaps more worrying concern was that oxygen levels in the complex were falling close to risky levels.

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