All the twelve boys and the football coach have been rescued from the Thai cave where they were stuck for more than two weeks.
The daring rescue operation was fraught with danger, with the children forced to dive through dark and narrow tunnels to reach the exit. All those brought out will now remain in hospital to be monitored in case they develop any illnesses from being inside the cave for so long.
Pictures of the Thai football team successfully rescued in a mission lasting three days.
They have to wear sunglasses after spending such a long time in darkness, and are only able to eat simple food such as rice porridge. Two of the boys now being monitored in hospital may have contracted a lung infection after spending more than two weeks in the flooded cave in Chiang Rai, medics said.
Jesada Chokdumrongsuk, deputy director-general of the Public Health Ministry, said the boys rescued were generally ‘healthy and smiling’.
Everyone is in high spirits and are happy to get out. But we will have a psychiatrist to evaluate them.’ It could be at least seven days before they can be released from hospital, he told a news conference.
Rescue personnel work at the Tham Luang cave complex as day three of the rescue mission begins.
Rescuers say 11-year-old Chanin Wiboonrungruang, whose nickname is Titan, will be rescued alongside his three remaining teammates and their 25-year-old football coach today. The mission began at 10am local time on Tuesday – 4am in the UK. Yesterday officials reportedly said coach Ekaphol Chantawong – nicknamed Ake – could spend the night alone if the mission to rescue another four boys works as in previous days.
However, he has now also been brought out. The boys are weak and ravenously hungry, Thailand’s public health chief revealed, but have been laughing and joking. In a letter to their parents, Ake apologised for taking the boys into the cave network, but several replied to say they did not blame him. ‘I promise I will take care of the kids as best as I can,’ Ake wrote.
Some media reports suggest when the group was found Ake was weakest, having refused to eat any of the food they had brought with them, giving it instead to the boys. Family members have seen at least some of the boys from behind a glass isolation barrier, and Mr Jesada said doctors may let the boys walk around their beds on Tuesday. Mr Jesada said they were uncertain what type of infections the boys could face ‘because we have never experienced this kind of issue from a deep cave’.