Phase two of Thai cave rescue underway

11 Juillet, 2018, 00:52 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
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Eight boys are still inside the cave and along with the team coach. Following a night-time stop of the operation, the daring attempt resumed on Monday morning.

The dive team, led by global experts, returned to the cave mid-morning Monday-earlier than expected-aiming to bring out more from the group of boys and their coach, who became trapped in the Tham Luang cave complex on June 23.

The operation cranked up again Monday morning local time, which was Sunday night in the USA, and four more boys were brought out.

Extracting everyone from the cave could take up four days, but Sunday's success raised hopes that could be done.

But he could not confirm if all five would come out today.

"The rescue has been vast", said volunteer helper Somjit Saenset, 56. Ninety divers are involved in the rescue.

Drilling a hole into the mountainside to lift them to safety - as 33 Chileans were rescued from a collapsed mine in 2010 - was dismissed because the boys' location couldn't be pinpointed accurately, and it wasn't clear how drilling could alter the mountain's geology.

Children look at pictures of students before relatives and friends pray for the 12 schoolboys and their soccer coach trapped inside a flooded cave, at Mesai Grace Church in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, July 8, 2018.

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.

They spent nine days unaccounted for inside the cave, before British divers found the emaciated and dishevelled group huddling on a muddy bank above the flooding.

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A video published by the Thai PBS channel earlier on Monday also showed a person on a stretcher - most likely the first boy to be rescued on Monday - being transferred to a helicopter. Monsoon flooding blocked off their escape and prevented rescuers from finding them for nearly 10 days. The diver, the first fatality of the rescue effort, was working in a volunteer capacity and died on a mission to place oxygen canisters along the route.

They have been guiding the boys through darkness and submerged passageways towards the mouth of the Tham Luang cave system.

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.

These divers have been working together to help guide the boys through the long, hard passages of the cave. But authorities became anxious in recent days as oxygen levels inside the cave dropped because of the presence of a high number of rescue workers.

As many as four boys stuck in the Tham Luang cave had been rescued on Sunday.

Each rescue operation takes around 10 hours. There was no word on the condition of the fifth boy brought out earlier on Monday.

The four boys who have already been rescued have been placed in quarantine to avoid the risk of infection.

"The children complained that they were hungry and wanted holy basil stir-fried rice (a popular Thai dish)".

A green tarpaulin is used to cover the entrance of the Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital, where the four rescued boys are being kept in quarantine.

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