Four boys rescued from Thai cave

Some good news from Thailand:

The first four boys rescued from the Tham Luang cave ordeal are now in safe hands and are under medical care at a local hospital in Chiang Rai, rescue mission chief Narongsak Osotthanakorn said yesterday.

An ambulance transports one of the trapped boys from Chiang Rai airport to the Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital yesterday evening. He was airlifted from a field hospital near Tham Luang to the airport after being extracted from the cave.

Speaking at a briefing at 8.45pm last night, Mr Narongsak said the first three boys were airlifted by helicopter to Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital in Muang district after being extracted from the cave, and the fourth was taken by ambulance.

The first boy emerged from the cave at 5.40pm, followed by the second boy about 10 minutes later. The third and fourth boys later made it out at 7.40pm and 7.50pm respectively, Mr Narongsak told reporters.

“Today is the most perfect day. We’ve now seen the faces of members of the Wild Boar football team,’’ said Mr Narongsak, a Phayao governor who formerly served as the governor of Chiang Rai. “This is a great achievement.’’

However, the remaining eight boys and their 25-year-old football coach Ekkapol Chantawong remained at the ledge called Nern Nom Sao where they had been sheltering since June 23, he said.

After the four boys made it out safely, the rescue mission was called off temporarily because oxygen supplies were all used up, Mr Narongsak said. An assessment will be made in the next 10-20 hours before a decision is made about when to resume the rescue operation, he said.

About 90 rescuers were involved in the operation. Of them, 10 foreign divers escorted the four boys out of the flooded cave, three divers, also from foreign countries, were technicians, and five Thai Navy Seal members supporting the rescue bid, Mr Narongsak said.