Mae Sai (Thailand), July 9: Expert divers have rescued four of 12 boys from a flooded cave in northern Thailand where they were trapped with their soccer coach for more than two weeks, as a dangerous and complicated operation unfolded amid heavy rain and the threat of rising water underground.
Eight boys and the coach remained inside the Tham Luang Nang Non cave as authorities paused the international effort to replenish air tanks along the treacherous exit route.
Extracting everyone could take up to four days, but the initial success raised hopes that could be done.
“The operation went much better than expected,” said Chiang Rai acting Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn, who is overseeing the mission.
He told reporters the four rescued boys were taken to the hospital in the town of Chiang Rai, the provincial capital, for evaluation, and the next phase of the operation will resume after about 10-20 hours.
The names of the rescued boys were not released.