Rescue operation suspended after 8th boy freed from Thai cave

Thai soldiers prepare for the second day of an operation to bring football team out of Tham Luang cave complex

Thai soldiers prepare for the second day of an operation to bring football team out of Tham Luang cave complex

Chiang Rai Gov. Narongsak Osottanakorn said the operation had been put on hold after the rescues Sunday to allow the dive teams to rest and to restock the massive Tham Luang cave complex with oxygen and other equipment needed for the hazardous exit.

"I'm hoping for good news", he said. The boys were found a week ago by a British diving pair who, when told by the boys that all were alive, reacted with a typically British "Brilliant!"

A witness on the scene reported seeing three people being carried on stretchers from the cave into an ambulance on Monday, with the first one emerging about 4:30 p.m., Reuters said.

The 18 experienced divers have gathered from the United Kingdom, United States, China, Australia, Japan, Laos and Myanmar.

The second phase of a rescue operation has ended for the day, with more than half of the Thai soccer team rescued from the cave. However, they ended up starting the rescue effort a few hours earlier than planned on Monday.

The second day of the underground rescue attempt began at 11:00am local time (2:00pm AEST).

At least eight members of the Wild Boar football team who were stranded in the Tham Luang cave network in the hilly region of north Thailand are believed to have been rescued so far by the divers.

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It is unclear which boys have been pulled out and which still remain in the cave.

A massive worldwide search operation was launched and it took 10 days to locate the boys, who had taken shelter on a dry slope deep in the complex. Officials said the boys are already eager to eat khao pad ka pow (fried rice with basil).

The names of the rescued boys were not released. Their relatives visited them in quarantined rooms as advised by doctors to prevent any infection.

The rescued boys are being kept in sterilized isolation units at a nearby hospital, which prohibits physical contact, and their parents have not been told they're safe.

At a press conference celebrating the rescue on Sunday night, the official coordinating the rescue gave an update on their condition.

Thailand's Meteorological Department said there was a 60 percent chance of rain Monday with thunderstorms forecast throughout the week. "And we will do it faster because we are afraid of the rain". The weather is good. They are considered some of the finest divers in the world, but the operation is incredibly challenging even for such experts.

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