Thailand cave operation called off for day with 8 now rescued

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CHIANG RAI, Thailand (NBC) – Four members of the youth soccer team trapped for more than two weeks in a flooded cave in Thailand were freed Monday, bringing the total number of boys rescued to eight.

Six hours after operations restarted on Monday morning, a stretcher was carried from the mouth of the cave to a waiting ambulance, which then sped away with its lights flashing.

A Thai military official later confirmed that a boy had emerged around 5 p.m. local time (6 a.m. ET).

Three more boys were carried out in the hours that followed, according to a post on the Thai navy SEALs Facebook page. That left four boys and the team’s coach trapped inside the huge and waterlogged Tham Luang complex as the operation was called off for the day.

On Sunday, expert divers brought out the first four of the 13 stranded. The same divers were deployed Monday because they were familiar the cave, authorities said.

The four boys rescued Sunday were receiving medical treatment at a 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 cave’s entrance while the boys have been underground.

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