Tenth person rescued from Thai cave on third day of operation

Tenth person rescued from Thai cave on third day of operation

As the eight boys already rescued from Thailand's Tham Luang Cave convalesce in a Chiang Rai hospital, an worldwide rescue team has entered the flooded cave system for the third consecutive day to free the four children and their 25-year-old soccer coach still trapped inside.

A massive worldwide effort involving more than 100 divers and rescue workers brought the first eight boys out through winding and partly-submerged passageways on Sunday and Monday, four a day.

Four boys and their 25-year-old football coach "will be extracted on Tuesday".

Nineteen divers entered Tham Luang cave at 10.08am on Tuesday, hoping to bring out the remaining four boys and their football coach still trapped inside.

Divers have rescued eight of the boys. A few hours later, Michael Safi, a Guardian reporter, confirmed that the sixth boy had been rescued.

Thai authorities revealed that the first phase was executed "smoothly" and the boys who had been evacuated were in "good health".

Rescue chief Narongsak Osatanakorn said efforts were expected "quicker or at least as quick as yesterday". Narongsak said experts told him the new rain could shrink the unflooded space where the boys are sheltering to 108 square feet.

Crowds at the teeming rescue site cheer the good news, but attention soon turns to the hard task of getting the boys out safely.

While the first group to be rescued has been reunited with their parents, officials said they had to meet from a distance ― "through glass". Authorities have said the mission could take up to four days to complete and heavy rain is forecast in the coming days.

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It's been more than two weeks since the 12 boys and their soccer coach became trapped in the flooded Tham Luang cave at the Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Chiang Rai.

Two boys possibly have a lung infection, but all eight are generally "healthy and smiling", he said. "But if the rain god doesn't help, then it could be challenging", Narongsak said.

Technology billionaire Elon Musk went into the cave on Monday and left the rescue team with a "kid-sized" submarine his company SpaceX had built, Thailand's interior Minister Anupong Paochinda said.

The boys, who got stuck inside the cave when it flooded June 23, survived until they were found nine days later only by drinking water that dripped off the stalactites hanging above them.

The operation began just after 10am on Tuesday as the first eight boys, freed in operations on Sunday and Monday, recuperated at a hospital in the nearest city, Chiang Rai.

All of the rescued boys had low temperatures, but are being warmed up.

Reuters reported that eight players have been rescued in risky attempts by a world-class worldwide team of divers.

After days of planning, the first four boys emerged Sunday after an arduous journey. A medic and three Thai Navy SEALs who have stayed with the boys on a small, dry shelf deep in the flooded cave will also come out, he said.

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