At Least Four Boys Have Been Rescued After Being Trapped In Thailand Cave, Local Official Says

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Evie Fordham Politics and Health Care Reporter
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Four Thai boys have been rescued on Sunday after being trapped in a cave with nine other people for more than two weeks.

The boys have been extracted thanks to an international team of divers in an operation that could take days to rescue all the boys, reported CNN. The first two boys to emerge were examined by doctors before being airlifted to a hospital, said Tossathep Boonthong, a health official in nearby city Chiang Rai and part of the rescue team, according to the Independent.

Water levels in the cave network were low enough that the rescue team decided to act, reported CNN. The plan is for professional divers to lead the boys out of the cave one by one. The rescue operation is proceeding ahead of schedule. (RELATED: Elon Musk Is Sending SpaceX Engineers To Thailand To Help Rescue Trapped Boys)

Rescuers extracted the four healthiest boys first and are now pausing the mission for at least 10 hours to regroup, reported the Associated Press.

The soccer team of 12 boys and their 25-year-old coach went exploring in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave network on June 23, but were forced up higher and higher when seasonal rains flooded its passages, reported CNN.

Two British divers found the boys on Tuesday in a dry chamber of the cave located more than a mile from where the group of 13 first entered. The divers accessed the chamber through a narrow channel. Extracting the boys out via that channel proved easier said than done as they were weak from hunger and did not know how to scuba dive, or, in some cases, know how to swim at all.

Rescue teams have been pumping water out of the cave to keep the boys’ chamber dry, but it was not enough to make for an easy rescue, reported BBC. Rescuers were afraid at one point that they would have to wait until the rainy season ended in October to conduct to get the trapped boys and their coach out of the cave network.

One diver, Samarn Poonan, died trying to recover the trapped soccer team of 12 boys and their coach on Friday.

This post will be updated.

Follow Evie on Twitter @eviefordham.

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