10 July, 2018
Rescue operation commander Narongsak Osottanakorn declined to say how many people would be taken out on Monday, but a Thai navy source said it was likely to be four or five.
The Thai rescue team members walk inside a cave where 12 boys and their soccer coach have been trapped since June 23. The 12 boys and their coach were trapped in the cave for two weeks.
Though it rained again Sunday, it did not affect the water levels in the cave, said Narongsak Osatanakorn, the leader of the command center in charge of the rescue operation.
The eight boys who were rescued through Monday had to travel about two and a half miles with oxygen tanks and were accompanied by two professional divers each.
The eight boys freed from the cave were quickly transferred to Chiang Rai Prachanukroh hospital, where they were put in isolation to determine they are clear of infection, the Guardian reported.
The first of Monday night's rescued Wild Boar FC players, whose identities have not yet been confirmed, was seen being carried out on a stretcher shortly about 4.30pm local time (9.30pm Monday NZ time), a few hours after the mission entered its second day.
Monsoon flooding cut off their escape route and prevented rescuers from finding them for nearly 10 days.
They said the four boys already rescued are hungry but in good health in a hospital.
However, after news of the rescue of four boys emerged, Musk tweeted, "Hopefully useful".
A heavy but brief downpour hit the area Monday morning, but authorities said that did not change the water level in the cave, as workers continue to pump water out.
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It's unclear whether Thai officials will opt to use Musk's submarine to rescue the four remaining boys and their soccer coach.
The death on Friday of a former Thai navy Seal, Saman Gunan, underlined the risks.
A rescue diver from the Thai Navy SEALs died trying to exit the cave last week, highlighting the risky situation the boys and their rescuers still face.
On Sunday, divers held the first four boys close to bring them out, and each had to wear an oxygen mask to enable normal breathing, authorities said.
The operation on Monday went more smoothly than on Sunday and took two hours less as the practice became more refined, he said.
The Thai community lies on the border with Myanmar and it is where several of the boys on the soccer team go to school.
Mr Narongsak said that experts told him new rain could shrink the unflooded space where the boys are sheltering to just 10 square meters. "So to get them back to their baseline - which would require food, water, vitamins, all the nutrients that we normally have, plus reasonable exercise of muscle tone - would take a matter of weeks".
"We have more expertise than yesterday", he said.
"We are so happy to rescue another four", he said.
It appears that the team were going into the cave as part of an initiation ceremony which tasked the boys with reaching the end of the cave and returning having written their names on the far wall. "From what I've seen in the clip, they did look skinny", he said. They are then taken to hospital in Chiang Rai.