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Thai Cave Rescue: 11th Boy Freed

Just one boy and coach still inside cave

THAM LUANGE CAVES, Thailand (CNN)  Only one boy and his soccer coach remain trapped in a Thai cave, after rescuers pulled out three more members of the Wild Boar soccer team at the end of an 18-day ordeal.

The three boys came out in quick succession late Tuesday afternoon, and were receiving attention at an on-site medical facility, according to a Thai navy official with direct knowledge of the operational details.

In total, 11 children have been rescued from the depths of the Tham Luang cave system since expert divers entered the cave Sunday, armed with hundreds of oxygen tanks for the treacherous dive through narrow, flooded tunnels.

Nineteen divers entered the cave at 10 a.m. local time Tuesday (11 p.m. Monday ET), as officials said they planned to bring out all the remaining members of the soccer team, their 25-year-old coach and four experts who have been by their side since they were found on a rocky ledge early last week.

"I hope all four kids... the coach, and the doctor and three SEALs will be all out today," Former Chiang Rai governor and rescue mission commander Narongsak Osotthanakorn told reporters Tuesday.

The boys were exploring the caves on June 23 with their coach when they were trapped inside by heavy seasonal rains. Tuesday's operation was expected to take longer than the two previous operations, due to larger number of people still inside cave, according to the Facebook page of the Royal Thai Navy SEALs.

"Today is 10 July. It will be longer than previous ones," the post says in Thai and English. "We will celebrate together finally. Hooyah!"

Rescued boys recovering in hospital

More details emerged Tuesday about the ages and condition of the children already freed from the cave.

All eight boys rescued on the first two days are being treated in an isolation ward in a Chiang Rai hospital. Medical officials told reporters that they're healthy, fever-free, mentally fit and "seem to be in high spirits."

Dr. Jedsada Chokedamrongsook, the permanent secretary of the Thai Health Ministry, said the first group of boys taken out on Sunday were aged 14 to 16. Their body temperatures were very low when they emerged, and two are suspected of having lung inflammation.

Families of the first four have been able to see their children through a glass window, Chokedamrongsook said. They were also able to talk on the phone. They'll be allowed to enter the room if tests show the boys are free of infection.
 


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