Journey for trapped Thai schoolboys is a perilous, dark labyrinth

Dubbed "D-day" by the rescue team leader, the divers entered the wide cave mouth on Sunday morning to begin extracting the boys, accompanied by a whole contingent of emergency workers.

Extracting everyone could take up to four days, but the initial success has raised hopes that it can be done.

The first four boys were rescued Sunday night after 16 days in a cave in Thailand, and the eight other youths and their soccer coach will attempt the journey hours later.

It is understood the same divers who rescued the first four boys have been given the job of getting the remaining team members out.

Additionally, the continuance of the rescue operation is dependent on the weather holding out, with rain potentially causing delays.

In later tweets, Musk said that the submarine he is working on has four handles in the front and four in the rear, along with four air tank connections.

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha, when asked during an official function in Bangkok on Monday about the next stage of the rescue mission, said the authorities will bring out all the 13 trapped inside the cave as soon as possible but he could not tell how long the evacuation process would take. Osatanakorn said the rescue, which began at 10 a.m. Sunday local time, has been going better than expected.

Bursts of heavy rain soaked the Tham Luang Cave area in Thailand's northern Chiang Rai province overnight, increasing the risks in what has been called a "war with water and time" to save the boys. About two hours later, the third and fourth boys were pulled from the cave 10 minutes apart, he said.

There was no official announcement as to which four boys the divers were able to bring through the cave.

On Saturday, Thai Navy SEALs published touching notes scrawled by the trapped footballers to their families, who had been waiting for them agonisingly close by outside the cave entrance.

Underscoring the danger in the fast-moving waters, a former Thai navy SEAL died on Friday while moving the canisters, reportedly because of lack of oxygen.

Hours after four boys were confirmed to have been rescued from the cave, Musk tweeted a video of a small submarine-like vessel being tested in a swimming pool.

Last week Musk said he was sending teams to Thailand from his private space exploration firm, SpaceX, and engineering firm, Boring Co. which is developing tunneling systems for transport projects.

Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda told reporters the rescued boys were in good health in hospital but did not give further details. "If the oxygen levels are down and the carbon dioxide levels are up, then you can get too much carbon dioxide in your blood". The rescue will resume today once they have been resupplied and examined by doctors.

The boys and their coach, whose team is known as the Wild Boars, became stranded when they were exploring the cave after a practice game on June 23.

The ordeal has riveted Thailand and captured the world's attention.

Global rescue teams from the U.S., China, Australia and Europe are stationed along tunnel walls from the entrance of the cave to chamber 3, a safe command center inside the cave, to support the extraction.

One of the boys, identified as Tun, wrote: "Mom and Dad, please don't worry, I am fine". I'm happy being here inside, the navy SEALS have taken good care.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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