Fifth boy removed from Thailand cave as rescue mission continues

Family members of the boys trapped in the cave are questioned by the media

As for the boys who have been rescued, they are in isolation and being monitored at a hospital for infection.

Alluding to that worry, the regional army commander offered his thanks Monday to the rain god Phra Pirun, imploring him to "keep showing us mercy".

Rescuers have been rushing to extract the boys, ages 11-16, and their 25-year-old coach from the cave as the annual monsoon bears down on the mountainous region in far northern Chiang Rai province. They became trapped in the cave after heavy rain flooded the passageways inside.

Eight boys are still inside the cave and along with the team coach. The operation to get them out was supposed to resume only after new oxygen tanks could be placed along their route of escape, which is partially underwater.

Authorities have said extracting the entire team from the cave could take up to four days, but Sunday's success raised hopes that it could be done faster.

Officials lavished praise on the Thai and worldwide divers who, in pairs of two, executed the unsafe rescue mission, guiding the boys, who could barely swim and had no diving experience, through a treacherous 2½-mile-long escape route that twisted and turned through the cavern.

Thai officials have confirmed that they are prioritising the weaker boys first, in order to ensure they get quick treatment.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, leader of the Thai military junta that seized power in 2014, planned to visit the cave site on Monday.

Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osotthanakorn said at a press conference on Monday that the effort would involve the same divers. Sunday's mission took nine hours and plenty of energy, with each child being accompanied by two divers along the way.

The boy is part of a group who went into the Tham Luang cave more than two weeks ago.

More news: Mahrez set to join Man City for £60m

Elon Musk has offered his assistance and has floated plans to save the soccer team stranded in a Thai cave network.

"The weather conditions and other environments today are as good as yesterday".

Thailand's Meteorological Department said there was a 60 per cent chance of rain with more thunderstorms forecast throughout the week.

However, many have been asking the very reasonable question of why the boys were in the cave in the first place?

"The water level is not worrisome", he said, the paper reported. Earlier efforts to pump out water from the cave have been set back every time there has been a heavy downpour. About two hours later, the third and fourth boys were pulled from the cave 10 minutes apart, he said.

Last night, Thai navy SEALs posted a celebratory note on their Facebook page, saying: "Have sweet dreams everyone". Monsoon flooding blocked off their escape and prevented rescuers from finding them for nearly 10 days.

TRT World's John Joe Regan has the latest from Thailand. Musk's Space X rocket company tested the submarine that could potentially help rescue the remaining children and their coach trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand.

"Leaving here in case it may be useful in the future", he wrote, referring to the "mini-sub" which he has named after the team, the Wild Boars.

The submarine is small and light enough to be carried by two divers, and can navigate through the narrow submerged areas in the cave, which is said to be the biggest challenge in rescuing the children trapped in the cave. "Very fearless and talented people!"

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