Thai cave rescue: Third phase of operation is underway, officials say

Thai cave rescue route

The burden of bringing out five people - having extracted four on Sunday and four more on Monday - will stretch the capacities of the rescue team.

"We expect that everybody will be out today, the children and coach and everybody will be out today", Osatanakorn told reporters.

Authorities have been rushing to extract the boys, ages 11-16, and their coach from the cave as the annual monsoon bears down on the mountainous region in far northern Chiang Rai province.

Thai Navy SEAL divers enter the cave searching for the boys.

He said the four boys rescued on Sunday were "hungry but in good health".

The 8 boys who have already been taken from the cave by diver are thought to be largely healthy after their ordeal, despite having been trapped inside the cave with little food or water for more than two weeks. The distance from where the crew is trapped to the main entrance is about a half a mile, and the boys had to travel most of that distance underwater to reach freedom.

Divers from Thailand and overseas, including the United States, China, Europe, and Australia have helped retrieve the boys, who are between the ages of 11-16. But officials waited several hours before confirming their rescue.

Using a tube from a SpaceX Falcon rocket, Musk and a team of his SpaceX engineers created an aluminum pod light enough to be carried by two divers and small enough to squeeze through all of the cave's often exceedingly narrow passageways. But in the past few days, they have avoided the heavy downpours that can flood the cave.

Divers inch further in, as an operating base is set up inside "Chamber Three" and hundreds of air tanks and other supplies are pulleyed in.

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The boys will remain in quarantine because of a fear of infection, and it's understood they have only been able to speak to family members through a window.

The Seals, the key force in the operation, posted on their official Facebook page that Tuesday would be a longer day than Monday.

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

Tech Billionaire Elon Musk's submarine, created to save the Thai schoolboys trapped in a flooded cave network, has been rebuffed by rescuers after he arrived at the scene with the technology.

In the past two days, eight boys were rescued and are now in a hospital isolation ward while they are tested for any possible infections.

"Mini sub arriving in about 17 hours", Musk tweeted Sunday.

"When the first group came, their temperatures were low", he said.

And Gianna Infantino, the president of Federation Internationale de Football Association, soccer's governing body, has invited the boys to the World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha visited the cave to inspect the operation and was quoted by Narongsak as saying he didn't want to see this kind of incident happen again on Thai soil.

"There's a likelihood of resilience, assuming everyone comes out, there's no fatalities, I think the worst is behind them", Adesman said.

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