Thai cave rescue site cleared to 'help victims'

Thai cave rescue site cleared to 'help victims'

A rescue mission has begun to evacuate a youth football team and their coach from a cave in northern Thailand, where they have been trapped for two weeks.

"I have received information that six have exited the cave", an anonymous member of the rescue team told Reuters. Chiang Rai acting Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn, who is heading the operation, said that 13 foreign and five Thai divers were taking part in the rescue and that two divers would accompany each boy as they're gradually extracted.

The rescue mission had called today "D-Day" because the water was at its lowest since the boys were discovered and heavy rains were forecast for later this week, giving them only four days to get all the boys out. They will be taken to a nearby helipad with a police motorcycle escort before being flown to the provincial capital of Chiang Rai for treatment in a hospital there.

Their parents are waiting for them at Chiang Rai hospital, about an hour's drive away, the BBC reported.

Complicated rescue: Local government officials said 13 foreign and five Thai divers are taking part in the long and risky operation to free the 12 young soccer players and their 25-year-old coach.

A Twitter user, Lisa Wilkinson, quoted Australian medical expert Dr Richard Harris who examined the 13 Mu Pa Academy members in the cave as saying that the weakest boys would be brought out first.

Two ambulances and a helicopter were seen leaving the cave site, according to local reports.

Belgium hold off Brazil in thriller to reach semis
Belgium's captain was everywhere, winning the ball back high up the pitch, creating chances and gliding past defenders at will. And De Bruyne feels Brazil's inability to properly adapt to Belgium's tactics ultimately cost them.

During a news conference Sunday, Thai officials thanked the media for their cooperation in clearing from the rescue area, saying that emergency responders needed space to work.

Earlier Sunday morning, Trump tweeted that the US government is working with Thailand's government in the rescue operation. "We have tried all possible ways to get the boys out, but sometimes we can't win over nature".

The co-ordinator of the rescue efforts said rescuers were still in a "war with water and time" and conditions in the following three or four days would be most ideal for the rescue.

Monsoon flooding had initially cut off their escape, and rescuers were unable to find them for more than a week.

Drilling has been ruled out as a possibility in the rescue attempt, one official said.

The boys, aged between 11 and 16, went missing with their 25-year-old coach after soccer practice on June 23, setting out on an adventure to explore the cave complex near the border with Myanmar and celebrate a boy's birthday.

Wearing full-face masks, the youngsters swam - for the first time in their lives - through miles of mud-clogged underwater tunnels which claimed the life of an elite Thai navy diver. Chiang Rai's deputy governor said authorities prefer the diving option.

Related Articles