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Thai caves: Nine still trapped as rescue operation resumes

Divers have rescued four of 12 boys from the flooded cave in Thailand.

The rescue operation is back under way
The rescue operation is back under way AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit

The four boys already rescued from a flooded cave in Thailand are hungry but in good health at hospital, Thai authorities have said.

Eight boys and their football coach remain trapped in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in the mountainous Chiang Rai region where the rescue operation resumed at 11am local time on Monday.

Officials said at a news conference that the parents of the rescued boys, whose names have not been released, have not yet been allowed to have physical contact with them, pending more extensive examination of their physical condition.

Thai authorities say the second phase of the operation to rescue the remaining eight trapped boys and their football coach from a flooded cave in Thailand has resumed.

Officials added that overnight rain did not change water levels in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in the Chiang Raid region where the boys and coach are trapped.

Chiang Rai's acting governor Narongsak Osatanakorn, who is overseeing the mission, said he hoped to hear good news "in the next few hours".

Chiang Rai province acting governor Narongsak Osatanakorn
Chiang Rai province acting governor Narongsak Osatanakorn AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit

Footage from inside the Tham Luang cave, from Saturday, shows the efforts made by rescue workers to free the 12 trapped boys and their football coach.

Elon Musk's Space X rocket company is testing a "kid-sized submarine" that could help rescue the remaining eight boys and their football coach trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand.

Mr Musk posted videos on Twitter of the aluminium sub being tested at a swimming pool. If the tests are successful, the sub would be placed on a 17-hour flight to Thailand.

Four of the boys were rescued on Sunday after first becoming trapped on June 23.

A spokesman for Musk's Boring Co tunnelling unit, which has four engineers at the cave, has said Thai officials requested the device, which could potentially help the children through narrow, flooded cave passageways.

Authorities are preparing to resume efforts to rescue the remaining eight boys and their football coach trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand.

The dangerous mission began on Sunday with four boys being delivered to the surface.

But rain is threatening to raise water levels inside the cave where the team was stranded for two weeks. There was a heavy but brief downpour on Monday morning.

New oxygen tanks are being placed in the cave before the second stage of the rescue effort begins.

Four boys have already been rescued and sent to hospital
Four boys have already been rescued and sent to hospital Chiang Rai Public Relations Office via AP

Eight boys and their football coach remain trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand after rescue efforts brought four to the surface.

Heavy monsoon rains lashed the mountainous Chiang Rai region, where the Tham Luang Nang Non cave is situated, for several hours overnight.

Water levels have a massive effect on the difficulty of the rescue operation. It is not immediately clear how the rains had affected levels inside the cave.

Thailand's Meteorological Department said there was a 60% chance of rain on Monday with thunderstorms forecast throughout the week.

Thai officials say the same divers who took part in Sunday's rescue will also conduct the next operation as they know the cave conditions and what to do.

The team is believed to include two elite British divers, Rick Stanton and John Volanthen, who were the first rescuers to reach the group.

The British Cave Rescue Council (BCRC) confirmed that seven divers from the UK with "expertise in cave diving" are assisting.

Thailand's interior minister Anupong Paojinda said officials are meeting about the next stage of the operation and how to extract the remaining nine.

Mr Anupong said divers need to place more air canisters along the underwater route to where the boys and their coach have been trapped since June 23. He said that process can take several hours.

He said the boys rescued on Sunday are strong and safe but need to undergo detailed medical checks.

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