Four Thai boys rescued from cave in good condition, says Interior Minister

An ambulance believed to be carrying some of the rescued boys from the Tham Luang cave heading to a hospital in Chiang Rai, on July 8, 2018.
An ambulance believed to be carrying some of the rescued boys from the Tham Luang cave heading to a hospital in Chiang Rai, on July 8, 2018.PHOTO: AFP/THAI NEWS PIX

BANGKOK (BERNAMA) - The four boys brought out from the flooded Tham Luang Cave in Mae Sai, in Thailand's Chiang Rai province, are in good condition and receiving medical attention at the province's Prachanukroh Hospital.

Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paochinda said they are generally "strong and safe" and under close medical supervision.

"They need to undergo more medical tests," he told reporters when met here on Monday (July 9).

On Sunday, the four boys, whose identities have not been disclosed by the authorities, became the first group taken out from the flooded cave by divers in a daring mission fraught with danger.

The first boy was taken out from the cave at 5.40pm, followed by the second boy 10 minutes later, while the third and fourth boys were brought out at 7.40pm and 7.50pm, respectively.

They were rushed to the provincial hospital in military helicopters.

The four boys and nine others, including their coach, aged between 11 and 25, are from the "Mu Pa" (Wild Boar) Football Academy and have been trapped inside the flooded and sprawling cave since June 23.

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha, when asked during an official function in Bangkok on Monday about the next stage of the rescue mission, said the authorities will bring out all the 13 trapped inside the cave as soon as possible but he could not tell how long the evacuation process would take.

 
 

"I don't want the media to ask how many days, how many months or how many years. We will be able to bring out the boys from the cave, but we will make it as fast as possible and safely," he said.

He will fly to Chiang Rai later on Monday to get a closer look at the rescue of the other trapped boys.

Meanwhile, in Chiang Rai, the rescue team has yet to announce the start of the next rescue mission to remove the next group of boys from the cave as the province began to experience heavy rain,signalling the start of the monsoon season.

Members of the media have been waiting near the entrance to the cave for former Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Ossothanakorn to give an update on the current status of the rescue mission.