Thai cave rescue: boys may be freed ‘at different times’

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International divers carry equipments as they prepare to go in to Tham Luang cave complex, as members of an under-16 soccer team and their coach have been found alive according to local media in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand July 5, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

CHIANG RAI (Xinhua) – A Thailand official overseeing the rescue operation of a soccer team trapped in a flooded cave said the 12 boys and their coach may not all be evacuated at the same time depending on their health.

Chiang Rai provincial Governor Narongsak Osatanakorn said on Wednesday that all 13 might not come out at the same time.

He said If the condition was right and if anyone of them was ready 100 percent, then he could come out.

“We have to be 100 percent confident that there is no risk to the boys before we evacuate,” Mr Osottanakorn reiterated.

Rescue teams insist they won’t begin the rescue mission that has gripped the whole world until it was safe to do so.

The soccer team was found by two British divers 10 days after they went missing inside the cave. Staying in the cave for 12 days, the mental and physical conditions of boys might be weakened, according to a rescuer.

The group is being taught how to use diving masks and breathing apparatus but from the safety of the muddy bank which for now remains their sanctuary.

A video released by Thai Navy SEALS showed them in good spirits.

Authorities are still determining the best way to get the team out of the cave, options that include diving.

Authorities are also pumping out water around-the-clock aware of the bad weather forecast in the days ahead, removing around one centimetre each hour in a massive draining operation.

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