Eight rescued Thai boys in good health, ask for chocolate bread

Maricruz Casares
Julio 10, 2018

The general leading the huge global effort to rescue the young footballers and their coach thanked the god of rain for his forbearance, as the boys were guided out of the Tham Luang caves in full-face masks - easier than traditional respirators for novice divers to use - during an intense nine-hour operation.

The first boy rescued by Monday's team was freed around 4:30 p.m. local time and transferred to the same hospital as the first four boys who were rescued on Sunday.

"The children complained that they were hungry and wanted holy basil stir-fried rice", Narongsak Osottanakorn, the head of the rescue operation, told reporters on Monday, referring to the popular Thai dish.

Four additional boys, along with their 25-year-old soccer coach, remain in the cave and await the next round of rescues, CNN reported. It is not immediately clear how the rains had affected levels inside the cave.

He added that the divers were the "same multinational team" that rescued the four boys on Sunday.

In total, 13 foreign cave divers and five Thai navy SEALs participated in Sunday's rescue, according to Reuters.

Four more of the boys trapped in a flooded underground cave have been successfully rescued in a second day of hazardous underwater diving.

Two of the boys possibly have a lung infection but all eight are generally "healthy and smiling", he said.

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Heavy monsoon rains lashed the mountainous Chiang Rai region, where the Tham Luang Nang Non cave is situated, for several hours overnight on Sunday.

Pad kra pao, a Thai chicken dish, was said to be the first meal that the four boys asked for.

They are then taken to hospital in Chiang Rai. Narongsak on Monday said their identities were being protected out of respect for the families of those still trapped inside the cave.

"The divers that were assembled from many countries are proud to have conducted this operation until its success", Narongsak said.

The group was found nine days later in a cramped chamber 2.5 miles inside the cave system by two British volunteer rescue divers. Last week, a former Thai navy diver died while preparing for the operation. However, they ended up starting the rescue effort a few hours earlier than planned. One was that it was unknown how safe and dry the area where they had taken shelter would stay, as Thailand's rainy season, which lasts until at least late October, picks up pace.

Rescuers had planned to take a 10- to 20-hour pause in the rescue efforts to replenish the cave with oxygen and give the team of 18 divers leading the boys on the hard journey a chance to rest.

Another and perhaps more worrying concern was that oxygen levels in the complex were falling close to unsafe levels.

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