4 rescued from Thai cave in risky operation; 9 remain inside

4 rescued from Thai cave in risky operation; 9 remain inside

Eight boys and the coach remained inside the Tham Luang Nang Non cave as authorities paused the worldwide effort to replenish air tanks along the treacherous exit route.

On Sunday, the divers managed to rescue four of the twelve children trapped in the flooded cave.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha was scheduled to visit the site later Monday.

Those rescued Sunday traveled more than half a mile underwater, according to Chiang Rai Gov. Narongsak Osottanakorn, who is the head of the rescue mission.

A press briefing was to be held shortly.

Whilst four boys and their coach remain trapped in the flooded cave system awaiting rescue, the freed members of the soccer team have been quarantined in their own hospital ward.

Giving an update on the four boys pulled from the cave Sunday, Narongsak said, "This morning, they said they were hungry and wanted to eat khao pad grapao" - a popular Thai rice dish of meat stir-fried with basil and chili peppers.

It took hours to place oxygen tanks and guide ropes along the narrow tunnel leading to the boys.

All ten of the boys trapped in a flooded Thai cave have been rescued.

Phuwadech Kamnguen, a 14-year-old best friend of one of the trapped boys, said he's looking forward to eating KFC with the team again.

"If Phra Pirun helps us, we might be able to do it very quickly", Narongsak said, again invoking the god of rain, who is widely revered in Thailand.

The search and rescue operation has involved dozens of worldwide experts and rescuers, including a USA military team. Two other boys came out at 7:40 p.m. and 7:50 p.m.

Narongsak said Monday's rescues involving 18 divers and a support team of 100 had taken nine hours, two fewer than the rescues Sunday.

There's been no shortage of warnings in recent days about how risky the rescue attempt is - not least the death of former Thai Navy Sgt. Saman Kunan, an ex-SEAL, who died early Friday morning due to a lack of air while attempting to return to a command center deep underground.

"The four children are well at Chiang Rai Prachanukroh hospital".

The rescue team is scrambling to extract all of those stranded before fresh rains complicate the task or cut off access by increasing flooding in the cave.

The names of the rescued boys have not been released out of respect for the families whose sons were still inside, and they have not been reunited with their own families, he added.

He said the health of the five people remaining in the cave was "still good" and rescuers would resume an operation to retrieve them in about 20 hours' time.

Four boys were rescued on Monday evening following the four who were bought safely out of the cave on Sunday.

Following the successful evacuation on Sunday, rescue personnel assessed their performance and adjusted the plan for Monday, resulting in "a smooth, coordinated operation", deputy commander of the Third Army Maj Gen Chalongchai Chaiyakham told reporters. On top of all the concerns inside the cave, Thailand's rainy season is looming.

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