First two of Thai soccer team rescued from cave

Credit PA

Thailand's interior minister says the same divers who took part in Sunday's rescue of four boys trapped in a flooded cave will also conduct the next operation as they know the cave conditions and what to do.

Hours after four boys were confirmed to have been rescued from the cave, Musk tweeted video of a small vessel being tested underwater.

A multi-pronged rescue effort has been underway since they were found almost a week ago.

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.

The original group of 12 young footballers were aged 11 to 16, and their coach Tham Luang is 25.

Within minutes the boys emerged from the Tham Luang cave complex and were immediately placed into ambulances and rushed to a hospital, authorities told ABC News.

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To make matters worse, rescuers are facing a "war with water and time" as unsafe monsoon storms and torrential rainfall could derail the mission. A massive global search operation was launched and it took 10 days to locate the boys, who had taken shelter on a dry slope deep in the complex. The search and rescue operation has involved dozens of global experts and rescuers, including a US military team.

Elon Musk has continued working on alternative strategies to rescue the remaining Thai boys stranded in Northern Thailand. Gen. Anupong said that process could take several hours. The operation started at 10 a.m., saying that it would take hours for the first person to be rescued, according to The Associated Press.

The Thai navy SEALs, who have been spearheading the rescue effort for the 12 boys and their soccer coach, have posted a photo on their Facebook page with a vow to bring the trapped team home from a flooded cave. Workers have been laboring around the clock to pump water out of the cave, and authorities said Monday that heavy downpours overnight did not raise water levels inside.

An Australian doctor with cave diving experience examined the boys on Sunday and declared them fit for the operation. Each boy is being accompanied by two divers. The rescuers and boys will have to contend with navigating tight passageways filled with muddy water and strong currents, as well as with oxygen-depleted air. We will have to do the next mission as successfully as the one we did today. The most touching note came from one whose name was not clear: "I'm doing fine, but the air is a little cold, but don't worry". But initial euphoria over finding the boys alive quickly turned into deep anxiety as rescuers raced to find a way to get them out, with Narongsak at one point dubbing the effort "Mission Impossible". The boys had moved 400 meters further in as the ledge had become covered by water.

A search led by Thai navy SEALs and joined by volunteer divers from around the world was fruitless until Monday, when a pair of British divers came up on the hungry but apparently healthy team.

"I don't want the media to ask me how many days or months or years it would take before getting all of the kids out, but we will do it as fast and safely as possible", Prayuth said.

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