All twelve boys and their coach have been rescued, after being trapped in a cave in Thailand for 18 days. The Thai navy Seals, who have been running the operation, confirmed that all 13 members of the Wild Boar football team, have been rescued in an update on its Facebook page.
Three navy seals and a doctor, who have been with the boys, are expected to emerge from the cave soon. The rescued boys are being airlifted to hospital.
The operation began at 10.08am local time on Tuesday as the first eight boys, freed in operations on Sunday and Monday, recuperated at a hospital in the nearest city, Chiang Rai. The authorities said preparations for the final rescue mission were unaffected by heavy overnight rain.
Jesada Chokedamrongsuk, a physician from the Thai ministry of public health, said the eight boys rescued on Sunday and Monday were “cheerful”. Two boys among the first batch to be freed, who he said were aged between 14 and 16, had shown possible signs of pneumonia and all had low temperatures when they arrived.
The rescued boys are being kept in isolation to avoid the risk of infection, but the first batch have been seen by their parents through a glass window. They are not yet allowed to eat the rich Thai food they’ve been requesting – so far it’s diluted porridge, bread, and some chocolate.
They will remain in hospital for at least seven days. This mean they will probably have to turn down a Fifa invitation to the World Cup fina on Sunday.
The office of Thailand’s prime minister has thanked the tech entrepreneur Elon Musk for his offers of help. Officials praised his mini-submarine but said it was not needed.
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