Thai cave rescue: 'D-day' for trapped boys

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"Now and in the next three or four days, the conditions are ideal [for evacuation] in terms of the water, the weather and the boys' health", Narongsak Osottanakorn, governor of the Chiang Rai province, told the BBC News. According to the Guardian, the rescue has concluded for the night and will resume in about 10 to 20 hours. Musk's small submarines will reportedly be light enough for two divers to carry.

Children look at pictures of students before relatives and friends pray for the 12 schoolboys and their soccer coach trapped inside a flooded cave, at Mesai Grace Church in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, July 8, 2018. Water levels at many spots in the cave are now low, providing the best chance for the rescue to be carried out, he added. In addition to treatment areas, the hospital will also provide reunion rooms for the young boys and their families.

The rescue mission has concluded for the night. Rescuers have spent the past few days trying to teach them basic diving and breathing skills.

Eight Australian divers, six from the Australian Federal Police, are part of the 90-strong Thai and global diving team taking part in the operation.

Thai authorities say it is unknown when the first group of boys trapped in a flooded cave will begin their dive out of the cave, the key part of a rescue operation underway.

It is estimated that the boys and their coach are 1.24 miles from the mouth of the cave and about 0.6 miles below the surface. Apparently British divers participating in the rescue specifically requested him and he is back in the cave helping in the rescue effort.

The area outside the Chiang Rai hospital was cordoned off by police.

It was reported that heavy rain was falling at the media centre, around a mile from the cave entrance, which could scupper plans to get the boys out today. The other boys have not been identified yet.

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Two of them have been taken by ambulance to hospital while another two were airlifted, but none of them were stretchered out.

Rescue workers are seen at the Tham Luang cave.

Each boy was accompanied by two divers - one in front and one behind. He confirmed that the boys traveled 1km underwater and the first was rescued at 5:40 p.m. local time.

The rescue mission could take two to four days depending on the conditions in the cave.

Having completed this section, the boys are then handed over to separate, specialist rescue teams, who help assist them through the remainder of the caves, much of which they can wade through.

His visit with relatives and rescue officials last week was criticized by some Thais as opportunistic as his government faced pro-democracy protests in the capital Bangkok in recent months.

Thai officials said Friday that oxygen levels inside the cave plummeted to a unsafe 15% - shy of the US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration's "optimal range" of oxygen, which is between 19.5% and 23.5%.

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