8th boy rescued from Thai cave, 5 people remain

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Thursday, June 28: The underwater rescue is temporarily halted after downpours bring fast-moving floods inside the cave.

A team of 13 worldwide cave diving experts and five Thai divers entered the precarious cave system at 10am local time on Sunday, after attempts to drill through to them were abandoned.

He was taken by helicopter and ambulance to the same hospital in Chiang Rai where the first four boys rescued Sunday by a team of global and Thai dive experts are being treated.

Divers are guiding the boys in darkness through tight and hard passageways. Last Monday they were discovered huddled on a narrow rock shelf deep within the flooded cave system.

Four schoolboys were rescued yesterday from the flooded cave where they had been trapped for 15 days with eight football teammates and their coach, marking a breakthrough in a remarkable operation watched by the world. A Thai Navy SEAL commander told reporters he believed there was "a limited amount of time" left to rescue the soccer team.

It's a total of four kilometers from the entrance to where the boys are trapped.

"The monsoonal pattern is present, meaning rain arriving in waves, which can't be adequately timed as they can escalate quickly", CNN meteorologist Gene Norman said Sunday evening.

Locals in Mae Sai and across the country have been glued to their television screens, watching every twist and turn of the dramatic search.

"The fact that it took so many hours underscores how precarious this whole mission is", she said.

The governor explained that a re-evaluation of the boys' situation had led the rescue authorities to conclude that they could not stay in the cave throughout the monsoon season.

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During a brief break in the weather, rescuers were able to pump some of the excess water out of the Tham Luang cave in the Chiang Rai province and rescue at least four boys, who had been trapped in there for over two weeks. Upon landing at nearby Old Airport, the boys were taken via ambulance to Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital, a hospital official told ABC News.

Osotthanakorn said the boys were hungry and asking for a Thai dish of beef with basil and chilli. Narongsak says they are "safe" but no other details are given about their conditions. "They walk from chamber three to mouth of the cave".

The entire group had been trapped for more than two weeks.

Authorities have said helicopters were ready to take cave evacuees to a hospital.

Officials said the boys are healthy but have not provided details on their condition. Visitors would need to wear sanitized clothes and stay two meters away from the children.

Thailand's Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda revealed the same divers who rescued the four boys will also conduct the next operation due to their knowledge of the terrain.

"People are certainly picking up their moods in terms of how optimistic they are and how well this mission will conclude". He said that process can take several hours. He confirmed that the boys traveled 1km underwater and the first was rescued at 5:40 p.m. local time. Two other boys emerged from the cave at 7:40pm and 7:50pm local time. Onlookers were seen watching and cheering as they drove by.

Divers had earlier launched a daring and risky mission to rescue the children and their soccer coach, who had been trapped underground for more than two weeks. The search and rescue operation has involved dozens of worldwide experts and rescuers, including a USA military team.

Thai governor Narongsak Osottanakorn described the first rescue as "our masterpiece work" and claimed the four rescued boys were in "perfect" health - despite earlier reports that one was being "closely monitored".

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