Six of the twelve boys trapped in the cave in Thailand have been rescued according to the local officials. The operation started at 10 a.m., saying that it would take hours for the first person to be rescued, according to The Associated Press.
Thai police officers stand guard at the blocking area in front of the oxygen tanks on a auto during rescue operations to save a soccer team at Tham Luang cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park, Chiang Rai province, Thailand. We saw that on Friday when one of the volunteers, a former Thai Navy SEAL, died while placing additional oxygen tanks along the route to be taken by the boys on their way out.
Asked how the authorities had decided which boys were to be taken out first, Mr Narongsak said: "Their health".
In a letter of his own, coach Ekapol Chanthawong apologized to the boys' parents for the ordeal.
"Today is D-Day", Narongsak Osottanakorn, head of the rescue mission, had earlier told reporters.
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On Saturday, Mr Narongsak said mild weather and falling water levels over the past few days had created optimal conditions for an evacuation that would not last if it rains heavily again. The Thai navy confirmed to the Guardian that the first two boys were freed late on Sunday afternoon and then airlifted to Chiang Rai city, which is about 50 miles from the cave. His colleagues said they would "not let the sacrifice of our friend go to waste".
Trapped for two weeks: A massive rescue operation was launched after the boys, ages 11-16, and their coach went missing on June 23.
In this photo taken July 7, 2018, a Thai policeman guards an area under rainfall near the Tham Luang cave at the Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province.
But the mission was paused overnight for air tanks to be replaced. The entire journey is about 4km long and requires the boys - some of whom can't swim - to dive underwater and pull themselves through the narrow tunnel using a rope.
He said 13 foreign divers and five Thai navy SEALs were taking part in the key leg of the rescue: taking the boys from where they have been sheltering and through dark, tight and twisting passageways filled with muddy water and strong currents. They eventually found a dry landing spot, where they waited for nine days before being found by two British divers.
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"It's unsafe to the most experienced divers to go through", one diver told Reuters.
"He added: "They can not decide how many of them will be able to come out for the first operation".
A multi-pronged rescue effort has been underway since they were found almost a week ago. All four were rushed to a hospital 65km away in Chiang Rai.
Thai authorities are being tight-lipped about who was inside an ambulance seen leaving the site of a flooded cave Monday, as they were the night before when four of the 13 people trapped inside the underground complex were rescued.
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