CHIANG RAI – Chief of operations Narongsak Osottanakorn at Tham Luang Cave complex in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai has confirmed that four not six of the 12 schoolboys have been rescued and transported to hospital.
“I have received information that six have exited the cave”, a senior member of the rescue team told Reuters.
A helicopter flew some of the boys to the nearby city of Chiang Rai where they were taken by ambulance to hospital.
Thirteen foreign divers and five members of Thailand’s elite Navy SEAL unit are trying to bring the rest of the boys.
Rescuing them all could take three to four days and depended on the weather, an army commander involved in the mission had said earlier.
Thirteen medical teams were stationed outside the cave – each with its own helicopter and ambulance – one for each of 12 boys and their coach.
After an initial assessment at the site, the plan was to airlift the boys to a makeshift helipad close to the Chiang Rai Prachanukroh hospital, some 70 km away.
A source at the hospital said that five emergency response doctors were awaiting the party and a further 30 doctors were on stand-by, adding that everyone was feeling tense.
Maj. Gen. Chalongchai Chaiyakam said the whole operation could take approximately two to four days, “depending on weather and water conditions”.
By Panarat Thepgumpanat – Reuters