Rescue mission day two : four more boys evacuated

Rescue commander Narongsak Osotanakorn has been shifted from his post as Chiang Rai governor after conflict with the

Although weak, the boys are largely in good health.

Narongsak said after the first four boys were rescued that they would be quarantined "for a while because we are concerned about infections".

Authorities have been rushing to extract the boys, ages 11-16, and their coach from the cave as monsoon rains bore down on the mountainous region in far northern Chiang Rai province.

The first four members of the Wild Boar soccer team were rescued Sunday and are in a hospital.

Thai navy officials say rescue workers in Thailand have rescued a fifth boy from a flooded cave on the second day of the rescue operation.

A search and rescue operation was mounted soon after they were reported missing, and military divers have since rescued five of the boys.

Five ambulances were seen driving toward the cave complex on Monday afternoon, and at least one helicopter was also seen heading toward the cave entrance.

Authorities have been tightlipped about the progress of Monday's operation.

Narongsak said ahead of the rescue dive that recent mild weather and falling water levels had created optimal conditions for an underwater evacuation.

How long will the rescue operation take?

"Mini-sub arriving in about 17 hours", he wrote. He said it was out of respect for the families whose sons were still trapped in the cave.

The hordes of global and local media have been kept back from the cave and the hospital in Chiang Rai, where the rescued boys are believed to be under observation. Medics appeared to remove one person on a stretcher but hid the person's identity behind multiple white umbrellas. It was unclear who was inside the ambulance or the helicopter.

Officials later confirmed the operation was under way again from about 11am local time (5am BST).

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In a letter of his own, the coach, Ekapol Chanthawong, apologized to the boys' parents for the ordeal.

The potential for rising water and the dwindling oxygen levels added to the urgency of getting the team out.

UPDATE 0841 ET: The rescue operation has been suspended for the night in Thailand.

The first four boys were rescued on Sunday and are in a stable condition in hospital.

The mission was paused overnight on Sunday for air tanks to be replaced. Touching on some of the challenges of the complex extraction, the interior minister told reporters on Monday the rescue team needed adequate rest in between dives and had to replace oxygen tanks along the route.

Monday's rescue effort took about nine hours, two fewer than the day before, in a sign of growing confidence and expertise.

The boys have been brought out in pairs, each guided by two expert divers. Eight people remain trapped in the flooded cave system.

Authorities have said extracting the entire team from the cave could take up to four days, but two straight days of success raised hopes that it could be done faster.

Thai authorities revealed that the first phase was executed "smoothly" and the boys who had been evacuated were in "good health". Four came out Monday, and it is possible Tuesday's plan was to bring out four more. Since then, an global team of engineers, rescuers and divers has been delivering supplies and food to the children and their coach ― and mulling ways to best help them escape. They became trapped in the cave after heavy rain flooded the passageways inside.

Expert divers on Sunday managed to get four of the 12 boys to safety. They are then taken to hospital in Chiang Rai.

Narongsak would not identify the rescued boys.

A Reuters witness near the Tham Luang cave in the northern province of Chiang Rai saw medical personnel carrying two people out of the cave to waiting ambulances on Monday evening.

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