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RESCUE: More brought out of Thai cave, fears of infection

11 July 2018

An ambulance believed to be carrying one of the rescued schoolboys leaves from Tham Luang cave complex on day two of the rescue.

Officials lavished praise on the Thai and worldwide divers who executed the risky rescue mission, guiding boys who can barely swim and have no diving experience through a treacherous 4-kilometre-long (2 1/2-mile) escape route that twisted and turned and rose and fell inside the mountain cave complex.

Cave rescue experts have said they consider an underwater escape to be a last resort, especially with people untrained in diving. Officials said Monday that despite rain Monday morning, the weather was holding out so far. The official declined to be identified as he is not authorised to speak to the media. Two divers are helping each one make his way through very narrow tunnels that twist and turn, and filled with dark muddy water.

Paojinda said officials met Monday morning to discuss the next stage of the operation and how to extract the remaining nine people from the flooded cave.

The four boys removed Sunday were hospitalized in stable condition at Prachanukroh Hospital, about 35 miles from the cave.

Then the problem became how to get them out as more rainy season showers loomed.

The Facebook page of the Thai Navy SEALs, who have been central to the rescue operation, was updated Monday night to say "two days, eight boars" - a reference to the Wild Boars, the name of the boys' soccer team.

Four boys were rescued on Sunday and they were judged as healthy as they recovered in an area hospital.

US Embassy Bangkok spokesman Steve Castonguay said: "The US will remain here to continue to support this operation until all the soccer players and their coach have been rescued".

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Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda also said the boys were in good health.

There was no immediate word on their conditions.

Medical workers" first assessments will focus on the boys' breathing, signs of hypothermia and an airborne lung infection known as "cave disease' which is caused by bat and bird droppings and can be fatal if it is untreated and spreads to other parts of the body. However, they ended up starting the rescue effort a few hours earlier than planned.

The four rescued boys have been transported to a Chiang Rai hospital for treatment and medical evaluations, reported CBS.

"You start to hallucinate, you see things, you hear things", said Dr. Robert Glatter, emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital.

Somboon Sompiangjai, 38, the father of one of the trapped boys, said parents were told by rescuers ahead of Sunday's operation the "strongest children" would be brought out first.

"We have not been told which child has been brought out. We can't visit our boys in hospital because they need to be monitored for 48 hours", Somboon told Reuters. The stretcher was loaded into the back of the ambulance as medics rushed in the side door. "I can help him with his homework", he said. "And we have more expertise than yesterday", he said.

After garnering headlines with initial ideas of installing a giant air tube inside the cave complex and using his firm's penetrating radar to dig holes to reach the boys, Musk's latest concept is the pod.

RESCUE: More brought out of Thai cave, fears of infection