Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Thailand Cave Rescue on Pause After 4 Kids Are Saved

Thailand Cave Rescue For Trapped Soccer Team Thailand cave rescue: Elon Musk team working on escape pod design
Charlie Simmons | 09 July, 2018, 03:43

Thai Navy soldiers in the flooded Tham Luang cave during rescue operations for the 12 boys and their football team coach.

The boys, aged between 11 and 16, went missing with their 25-year-old coach after their soccer practice on June 23 as they set out to explore the Tham Luang cave complex in Northern Thailand. "The next best situation would be if the water level is as low as possible to move the kids".

Duncan Forgan of NBC News reported the rescue operation to free the eight remaining players and their coach is ongoing, while those evacuated from the cave were transported to medical facilities.

Mirza is the national coordinator of the National Cave Rescue Mission.

"If he didn't go with them, what would have happened to my child?" said the mother of Pornchai Khamluang, one of the boys, in an interview with a Thai TV network.

The foreign divers and five Thai divers entered the caves after an Australian doctor gave the all-clear.

Elon Musk wrote on Twitter that engineers from two of his companies, the aerospace manufacturer SpaceX and the tunnel-construction company Boring Company, were headed to Thailand to lend their assistance.

Thai authorities say it is unknown when the first group of boys trapped in a flooded cave will begin their dive out of the cave, the key part of a rescue operation underway.

Officials said the first two boys had been extracted at 5:40 p.m. local time and traveled 0.6 miles (1 kilometer) underwater.

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The area outside the hospital was cordoned off with police patrolling the area, said a Reuters reporter at the scene.

An entire floor of the 14-story hospital has been reserved for treating the soccer team, according to local media reports.

His parents, who along with other families, have maintained a constant vigil at the site since the boys first became trapped. Two drivers will accompany each boy being taken out. Rescuers will be using air tanks and face masks while guiding the boys to safety.

Though four boys have been rescued as of Sunday night, the mission to extract the rest could take two to four days depending on the conditions in the cave.

His announcement, at a news conference more than an hour after helicopters and ambulances were seen rushing from the cave area, drew cheers and applause.

On Sunday, there was a break in the rain and a small window to start the rescue attempt, the Thai government said.

Thai officials said Friday that oxygen levels inside the cave plummeted to a risky 15% - shy of the US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration's "optimal range" of oxygen, which is between 19.5% and 23.5%.

Before, during, and after the rescue, the Thai Navy SEALs leading the rescue mission kept people updated by posting encouraging messages on their Facebook page.

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