Sunglasses and chocolates: Eight boys rescued from Thai cave recovering

Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha poses with relatives of boys trapped in a flooded cave in Chiang Rai on July 9. REUTERS

Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha poses with relatives of boys trapped in a flooded cave in Chiang Rai on July 9. REUTERS

The "Wild Boars" team became trapped on June 23 when they set out to explore the cave after soccer practice and rains flooded the tunnels.

The saga has dominated global headlines, with the team spending nine days unaccounted for inside the cave, before British divers found them - emaciated and dishevelled - huddling on a muddy bank above the flooding. The remaining four boys and coach were brought to safety Tuesday morning as part of a third day of rescue operations. That left four boys and the team's coach trapped inside as the operation was called off for the day.

Rain and mist soak the area as soldiers arrive near Tham Luang cave, where divers again entered on Tuesday to bring out the remaining trapped footballers, in Tham Luang Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai.

The ninth boy was carried from the cave on a stretcher shortly AFTER 11:00 SAST, Reuters and CNN reported. "We can't visit our boys in hospital because they need to be monitored for 48 hours", Somboon told Reuters.

Officials said details of the rescue operation would be revealed on Wednesday.

The first group of four evacuated on Sunday are aged between 14 and 16 and the second group rescued on Monday are aged between 12 and 14.

Nargonsak said this phase may take longer than the previous two rescue missions, which both lasted several hours.

Importantly, as of the time of this writing, eight of the 13 trapped people have already been saved by the heroic actions of rescue divers and support teams.

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A crack team of foreign divers and Thai Navy SEALS has been guiding the boys out through almost 4 km (2.5 miles) of sometimes submerged, pitch-dark channels.

Divers have rescued eight of the boys. Rescue operations have halted for the night and will restart on Tuesday.

A massive worldwide 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.

If all goes according to plan, the remaining boys, their coach, and the doctor and Navy SEAL divers who have been with them in the cave will be brought out today.

The optimistic mood was in contrast to the saddened atmosphere at the cave last week, after former Thai Navy SEAL Saman Kunan, 37, died while laying air tanks underground on Thursday.

Miraculously, it looks like the Wild Boars team, with their current medical conditions unknown, may be able to make their invitation to the FIFA World Cup in Moscow on Sunday. "But when I saw that he was alive and breathing, it felt very good".

Governor Narongsak Osottanakorn, who is leading the rescue mission, also warned today's operation could be more hard due to the increased number of people to be evacuated, but that he expected the "everyone will be out today".

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