A treacherous rescue bid to free a youth football team trapped in a flooded Thai cave entered its second day Monday, with nine of the "Wild Boars" still inside after elite divers guided four out. According to the Guardian, the rescue has concluded for the night and will resume in about 10 to 20 hours.
The operation to rescue the remaining eight boys - some as young as 11 and weak swimmers - and the coach was called off at nightfall until Monday to give the divers time to replenish oxygen supplies and ensure all preparations were complete. All the boys were in good condition, Narongsak said. Each boy and the coach are to be accompanied by two highly experienced divers.
The rescue teams had rehearsed the plan for several days, Narongsak said, and had managed to drain the water level in the cave considerably, but needed to move fast.
The first two boys emerged Sunday night from the cave in Thailand where they have been trapped for two weeks.
Thai authorities have confirmed that four members of the football team that was left stranded in a cave have now been rescued. "We have set the plan for four people so if they want to take five out (at the same time), then they need to change the plan".
Less than an hour after the helicopter took off, Thai public television aired live video of a medivac helicopter landing close to a hospital in the city of Chiang Rai, around 60 kilometers (37 miles) from the cave.
"They will be kept away from their parents for a while because we are concerned about infections", Chiang Rai provincial Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said at a news conference about the boys who were rescued on Sunday.More news: Croatia defender investigated by Federation Internationale de Football Association following World Cup win over hosts Russia
The boys, who had no diving experience, navigated through 5km of complex passageways, including a total of 1km of submerged parts escorted by the divers, said Mr Narongsak.
In places the passage is so tight divers have to take the scuba tank off their backs and carry their gear through one piece at a time.
Four boys of 13 trapped in a northern Thailand cave have been brought out through an underwater evacuation, a member of the rescue team said on condition of anonymity Sunday. They had been missing for 10 days before they were discovered.
Once rescued the boys are expected to head straight to hospital in Chiang Rai town for further evaluations.
"He added: "They can not decide how many of them will be able to come out for the first operation".
"Football's Coming Home. First Wild Boars Out", a headline on one online Thai paper said on Monday, referring to a song chanted by English soccer fans at the World Cup now underway in Russian Federation.
A frantic rescue mission was hatched in the week since they were found. Other divers were on guard along the risky first kilometer of the passageway.