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Eight boys rescued from flooded Thai caves, now up to ‘rain god’
10 July 2018, 12:26 | Devin Moran
GETTYThai cave rescue route The football team were trapped for two weeks
Rescue teams on Tuesday geared up to extract four boys and their soccercoach who remain trapped in a flooded and labyrinth cave system in far northern Thailand. Torrential rainfall and flooding cut off their escape route and prevented rescuers from finding them for nearly 10 days. Officials have yet to confirm the identities of the four boys freed.
The president of soccer's governing body, FIFA, has invited the boys to the World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday if they make it out in time.
"You have seen the rain so you might be wondering - preparation for the third operation has been under way since early morning", said Narongsak Osatanakorn, the head of the joint command centre coordinating the operation.
Expert divers have so far rescued eight boys from a flooded cave in Thailand, leaving another four youngsters and their football coach to be brought to safety.
A crack team of foreign divers and Thai Navy SEALS guided the boys during a nine-hour operation through almost 4 km of sometimes submerged, pitch-dark channels from where they have been trapped for more than a fortnight. It could take two to four days complete the mission, officials said.
The weather in Chiang Rai, Thailand, where the boys and their coach are trapped in a cave, is "actually quite dry", said CBS News foreign correspondent Ben Tracy.
The rescued boys will be in quarantine for at least 24 hours, Tracy reports.
Twelve members of the Wild Boar youth football team were underground from 23 June after going for a picnic with their coach after practice.
He said the four boys rescued on Sunday were "hungry but in good health".
If medical tests show no dangers, after another two days parents will be able to enter the isolation area dressed in sterilized clothing and staying 2 meters away from the boys, said Tosthep Bunthong, Chiang Rai Public Health Chief. Their families were being kept at a distance because of fears of infection and the emaciated-looking boys were eating a rice-based porridge because they were still too weak to take regular food, authorities said.
Four boys and their 25-year-old football coach "will be extracted on Tuesday".
Before the rescue mission began, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Musk tweeted that he was designing an "escape pod" built from "the liquid oxygen transfer tube" of a SpaceX Falcon rocket that could be used as a submarine.
Boys from the soccer team trapped inside Tham Luang cave covered in hypothermia blankets July 3 video by Thai Navy Seal.
Each of the rescued boys has been guided through the dark winding cave by two pairs of divers.
The final push to bring home four boys and their soccer coach by a crew of global and Thai divers began in earnest on Tuesday.
Musk's efforts to assist in the rescue mission comes as the eight freed boys recuperate in hospital after spending more than two weeks seeking refuge on a tiny patch of higher ground in the Tham Luan Nang Non cave complex.
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