Thailand cave rescue resumes with 5th boy rescued

Sources: Thailand Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency, Google Earth (DigitalGlobe, CNES/Airbus) Graphic: Roque Ruiz and Jiachuan Wu / NBC News

by Duncan Forgan  |   NBC News

CHIANG RAI, Thailand — A fifth member of the youth soccer team trapped for more than two weeks in a flooded cave in Thailand was freed Monday.

Rescue workers carried a stretcher from the mouth of the cave to a waiting ambulance, which then sped away with flashing lights. A Thai navy official later confirmed that the boy emerged around 5 p.m. local time (6 a.m. ET).

On Sunday, expert divers brought out four of the 13 who were trapped, only to pause their efforts overnight as more air canisters were placed along the underwater route.

The same divers who took part in Sunday’s rescue in the huge and waterlogged Tham Luang complex were deployed Monday because they know the cave, authorities said.

The latest rescue came about six hours into Monday’s mission.

The four boys rescued Sunday were receiving medical treatment at Prachanukroh hospital in Chiang Rai, around 35 miles away. Its eighth floor has been reserved for the soccer team, their coach and their families — who have maintained a vigil by the entrance to the cave while the boys have been underground.

Officials said the boys freed Sunday were hungry but in good health, and had asked for holy basil stir-fried rice, a popular Thai dish.

Somboon Sompiangjai, 38, the father of one of the trapped boys, said parents had been told by rescuers that the “strongest children” would be brought out first.

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