Thailand Cave Rescue Saves 8 Children Trapped For Weeks Underground

Thailand's Tham Luang cave complex

People on the street cheered and clapped when ambulances ferrying them on the last leg of their journey from the cave arrived at a hospital in Chiang Rai city in far northern Thailand near the Myanmar border. The rescued boys are now in the hospital receiving treatment.

"[The Australians] have been a big help, especially the doctor", the leader of the rescue mission, acting Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osotanakorn told an Australian Nine News reporter on Wednesday.

She says it has felt like the whole world was rooting for the boys. ABC News has identified the Wild Boar soccer team players Mongkol Boonbiam, Songpong Jaiwong, Ponchai Kumluang, Pipat Pothi, Duangpetch Promthep, Adul Samon, Panumat Sangdee, Peerapat Sompiangjai, Prajak Sutham, Nuttawut Takamsong, Chanin Wiboonrungrueng and Eakkarat Wongsukchan.

A second mission, which rescued another four boys, commenced on Monday, July 9.

'We did something no-one else thought was possible, ' he said as he thanked the Thai and worldwide rescue team.

"When I saw the diver and the kid on the horizon, I still didn't know if it was a casualty or if it was a kid so I was very scared", said Ivan Karadzic, one of the rescuers inside the cave.

Federation Internationale de Football Association also expressed condolences to the family of a Thai Navy SEAL who died after running out of oxygen during the rescue operation on Friday.

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The children aged from 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach, ventured into the cave in Thailand's mountainous north on June 23 after football practice and got trapped when heavy rains caused flooding that forced them to take shelter on a muddy ledge. The rescued boys had not been identified out of respect for the families whose sons were still trapped, officials had said.

In this handout photo released by Tham Luang Rescue Operation Center, Thai rescue teams walk inside cave complex where 12 boys and their soccer coach went missing, in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, in northern Thailand, Monday, July 2, 2018. It took the divers about eight hours to get into the cave, reach the boys, and bring them back out.

Two of the boys had suspected lung infections but the four boys from the first group rescued were all walking around in hospital. A massive effort to pump out water made the winding passageways more navigable.

"Amazing news that all of the Thai kids are out of the cave safely!" The food had been cooked in the camp right outside the mouth of the cave, but the boys could only nibble on the rice because they'd grown so weak, the Thai military sources said.

They joined their teammates in quarantine there and will remain in hospital.

It was a "miracle" they had survived and an even greater one that the rescue team, including worldwide caving experts, were able to hatch a plan to get them out alive.

Club president Luis Filipe Vieira wrote to the Thai ambassador to Portugal to invite the boys to the camp in Seixal across the River Tagus from the capital, a club statement said on Tuesday.

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