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Thailand cave rescue: 4 boys successfully rescued from cave

CNN.com

AP -- The official heading the operation to rescue 12 boys and their soccer coach from a cave in northern Thailand says the operation is going "better than expected."

Chiang Rai provincial acting Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn made the comment at a news conference Sunday evening after rescuers extracted four of the boys from the cave where they had been trapped for more than two weeks. Narongsak said the four were then taken to a hospital. Their condition was not immediately clear.

Narongsak said the healthiest have been taken out first, and the next phase of the operation would start in 10-20 hours.

He said that 13 foreign and five Thai divers were taking part in the rescue and that two divers would accompany each boy as they're gradually extracted.

CBS/AP -- At least four of the 12 boys trapped in a cave in northern Thailand for nearly two weeks have been successfully rescued, the Thai navy SEALs said Sunday. Rescue officials told Reuters that the rescued boys were being treated and transported to a local hospital.

The acting Chiang Rai governor told reporters Sunday was "D-Day," with 13 foreigner and five Thai divers taking part in the rescue.

Thai officials said Saturday they are worried that heavy monsoon rain could soon make the job even more difficult and they may need to quickly rescue the boys and the soccer coach from a partially flooded cave by helping them make risky dives to safety.

The boys, ages 11-16, and their 25-year-old coach became stranded when they went exploring in the cave after a practice game. Monsoon flooding cut off their escape and prevented rescuers from finding them for almost 10 days.

Narongsak Osottanakorn, who is in charge of the rescue mission, said Saturday conditions were currently "perfect," BBC News reports.

"Now and in the next three or four days, the conditions are perfect [for evacuation] in terms of the water, the weather and the boys' health," said Narongsak, governor of the Chiang Rai province, where the caves are.

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