Thai Cave Rescue Operation Suspended After 4 More Boys Freed

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As the eight boys already rescued from Thailand's Tham Luang Cave convalesce in a Chiang Rai hospital, an global rescue team has entered the flooded cave system for the third consecutive day to free the four children and their 25-year-old soccer coach still trapped inside.

As rescuers began a daring extraction of the boys and their coach from the cave over the weekend, Musk said he had sent a "kid-size submarine" to the country to assist in the massive rescue effort.

Four were rescued over the weekend. The four rescued on Monday were rushed to a hospital to join their other rescued teammates in quarantine in case of infection. Eastern time the prior night.

The plight of the boys and their coach has drawn worldwide attention since they became trapped when they went into the cave after soccer practice on June 23. Monsoon flooding blocked off their escape and prevented rescuers from finding them for nearly 10 days.

On Friday, the death of a former Thai navy SEAL underscored the risks. "We should treat them like disaster victims, and not like they have done anything wrong".

Chiang Rai acting Gov. Narongsak Osottanakorn said Saturday that mild weather and falling water levels in recent days had created the "perfect" conditions for an underwater evacuation.

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Principal Kanetpong Suwan said teachers and students have been briefed to treat the boys normally and positively, not to ask them about details that would remind them of their ordeal, and to welcome all of them back with open arms.

The first four boys had already met their families through windows.

"We have more expertise than yesterday", he said.

A truck carrying oxygen tanks arrives outside the Tham Luang cave complex, where 12 schoolboys and their soccer coach are trapped inside a flooded cave, in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, July 8, 2018. They were in good condition in hospital, officials said. Today, you get some good rest. After they were found on July 2, officials cautioned it could take some time to get them out, but authorities made a decision to act with heavy rains forecast to hit the region.

At some point, there was talk of leaving of the boys in the cave throughout the rainy season, Tracy said.

According to the Associated Press, a Thai official revealed that the healthiest boys were taken out of the cave first. The boys will be hospitalized for at least a week. That said, Musk's effort, while laudable, might not be needed for this particular rescue.

More news: Thai cave rescuers free three more boys

A team of 19 divers resumed the rescue mission at 10 a.m. local time on Tuesday, Thai officials said. It takes several hours.

1 NEWS' Kimberlee Downs has the latest from Chiang Rai. Nine people remain trapped in the cave.

Divers say the Thai dive and rescue is something that will go in the history books for divers around the world and rescuers will learn from for years to come.

Divers need 20 hours to lay air tanks and prepare the route.

"They [the first four] will be kept away from their parents for a while because we are concerned about infections", he said, before adding that doctors would decide on family visits and the boys would be kept "at a distance" or seen "through glass".

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