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Boys Rescued from Flooded Cave in Thailand


An ambulance leaves the Tham Luang cave area after divers evacuated some of the 12 boys and their coach trapped at the cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province on July 8, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA)

1343 UTC: Four boys were brought out of a flooded cave in northern Thailand on Monday, bringing the total number of rescued to 8. An aide to Thai navy SEAL commander told the Associated Press.

A witness near the cave also told Reuters that medical personnel carried four people to waiting ambulances. That means four others and their coach are to be rescued after more than two weeks trapped in the cave.

1307 UTC: Reuters reported rescue workers in Thailand brought out four people on Monday from a flooded cave where 12 boys and their soccer coach were trapped, taking the total number rescued to eight. The Associated Press reported that a total of four ambulances have left the area on Monday, suggesting eight of 13 trapped people now have been rescued.

1121 UTC: Reuters reported rescue workers brought out two more people from a flooded cave in northern Thailand, taking the total number rescued to seven.

1100 UTC: The Associated Press reported that an ambulance with flashing lights left the site of the flooded cave, hours after the second phase of rescue was launched. And a Thai navy official told Reuters that a fifth boy was brought out of the cave.

Four boys have been rescued from a flooded cave in northern Thailand, the head of the rescue effort said on Sunday.

The four had been trapped underground with eight other boys, ages 11-16, and their 25-year-old soccer coach for more than two weeks.

Crews launched an operation to rescue the boys and their coach Sunday morning. Shortly after nightfall, local time, Thai navy SEALs reported on Facebook that the four were rescued.

The head of the rescue operation, Narongsak Osatanakorn, had earlier told reporters that "Today is D-Day." Water from heavy rains have flooded the cave, leaving the team trapped inside. More rain is expected in the coming weeks.

Sunday night divers escorted the four children, who were wearing equipment to help them breathe. Other divers were on guard along the dangerous first kilometer of the passageway. In some places, the boys had to be carried under flooded areas, some only as narrow as 0.6 meter wide.

The rescue operation claimed the life of a former Thai navy diver last week.

The boys and their coach went missing after the team ended a workout on June 23. Rescue crews found them deep inside the cave on July 2. By then, the group had spent 10 days cut off from the outside world.

Thai officials said 13 foreign and five Thai divers are taking part in the rescue operation. Crews had been preparing to rescue them for several days. On Saturday, a doctor examined the boys and said they were in good health.

Army General Chalonhchai Chaiyakam said the efforts to rescue all 12 boys and their coach could last two to four days, depending on water levels and weather conditions.

Boys from the under-16 soccer team trapped inside Tham Luang cave receive treatment from a medic in Chiang Rai, Thailand, in this still image taken from a July 3, 2018 video by Thai Navy Seal.
Boys from the under-16 soccer team trapped inside Tham Luang cave receive treatment from a medic in Chiang Rai, Thailand, in this still image taken from a July 3, 2018 video by Thai Navy Seal.

Hai Do wrote this story for Learning English based on AP, Reuters and AFP reports. George Grow was the editor.

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Words in This Story

cave - n. a large hole that was formed by natural processes in the side of a cliff or hill or under the ground

coach - n. a person who teaches and trains an athlete or performer

D-Day - n. a day in which something important is planned or expected to happen

escort - v. to go with someone to give protection or guidance

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