Rescue efforts for boys trapped in Thai cave begin

First boys rescued from cave in northern Thailand after two-week ordeal

First boys rescued from cave in northern Thailand after two-week ordeal

Outside the hospital, helicopters could be seen making their way to a nearby airfield, where ambulances were waiting for the boys.

The Guardian reports that four boys have been rescued from the Thailand cave.

Thirteen foreign cave diving experts have entered the cave to join the rescue operation since 10:00 local time on Sunday.

Officials said the rescue could take four days to complete. Twelve children between the age of 11 and 16 and a soccer coach had been trapped inside for more than two weeks. We saw that on Friday when one of the volunteers, a former Thai Navy SEAL, died while placing additional oxygen tanks along the route to be taken by the boys on their way out.

Narongsak said that "everything went smoothly", but it was unclear when the others would be freed.

She believes the boys are still alive thanks to their coach.

"Today is D-Day", Narongsak Osottanakorn, head of the rescue mission, had earlier told reporters.

Four boys among a group of 13 trapped in a flooded Thai cave reached the rescue base camp inside the complex on Sunday and will walk out soon, the country's defense ministry spokesman told AFP.

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The boys are thought to be at least 2km deep into the cave, which has at least five sections where underwater dives are required to navigate through narrow passages.

The first stage of the mission ran "smoothly" and the rescued boys were in "good health", according to the Thai authorities. They got the four boys out a few hours earlier than he had predicted at his morning news conference when he announced they were going in. We are calculating how much time we have if it rains, how many hours and days, ' he said. He said that process can take several hours. As of last night, even the parents of the boys had not been told who had been rescued, one mother told our reporter Michael Safi. The most problematic section of the trip has been revealed to be halfway out and named the "T-Junction" sue to the fact that it is so small divers are forced to remove their air tanks to pass it.

Global media have begun minute-by-minute reporting of the operation to save 13 people from Tham Luang Cave in Chiang Rai province with some dubbing the effort "Mission Impossible" to highlight the high level of difficulty.

They spent nine days unaccounted for inside the cave, before British divers found the emaciated and dishevelled group huddling on a muddy bank.

The first, almost 1km-long section from where the boys have been huddling in darkness is believed to be the most hard, requiring a long dive and crawling through mud and debris, with some crevices barely wide enough for a person. Other divers were on guard along the risky first kilometer of the passageway.

To ensure a clear path for getting evacuees to the hospital and to safeguard their privacy, authorities ordered the media to move away from the cave before the boys came out.

A frantic rescue mission was hatched in the week since they were found.

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