The second leg of the Thailand Cave Rescue operation to retrieve the remaining eight boys and their football coach has come to an end. The rescue authority has confirmed that eight out of the thirteen footballers trapped in Tham Luang caves have been evacuated so far.
While four boys were rescued safely during the first phase of the "high risk" operation on Sunday, the day two mission pulled four more boys out of the cave. The boys have been trapped in the cave since June 23.
All of the eight evacuated boys have been sent to the medical facility and are under a close monitoring by a group of emergency response doctors. They have swum and dove the approximately 5 km stretch inside the cave before reaching the entrance of the cave.
However, four boys along with their coach are yet to be rescued from the flooded cave of Chiang Rai.
The Thailand Cave search, carried out by a team of 90 divers and thirteen medical teams, was halted overnight to replace the oxygen tanks used in the unprecedented operation.
After days of planning, the highly hazardous operation to extract the boys and their coach was started on Sunday amid fears of rising water level due to rains.
According to Narongsak Osotthanakorn, the rescue chief, it was the best time to start the operation as the boys and their coach were physically and mentally fit for the mission.
The first and second stage of the mission ran "smoothly" and the rescued boys were in "good health", the authority said.
“The rescue effort is likely to take two to three days to complete as it "depends on other factors like the weather," local media quoted Major General Chalongchai Chaiyakorn, an army commander, as saying.
However, the rescuers will have to face major challenges in the upcoming stages. They will have to work quickly to evacuate those still trapped after heavy rainfall on Sunday and more forecast for the coming days.
The group of trapped Thai boys will be given psychological support but would be treated like any other students to help them settle back in, according to the Mae Sai Prasitsart School authority in Thailand.
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