Final mission to rescue football team trapped in Thai cave resumes

CHIANG RAI, Thailand, July 10 (Xinhua) -- Rescue operation for the rest five of the Thai football team trapped in northern Thailand's cave for more than two weeks has resumed on Tuesday morning.

Thai authorities confirmed at a press briefing that the rescue mission started again at about 10 a.m. local time on Tuesday after a break of less than 20 hours since Monday night.

A total of 19 divers make up the team to dive the rest out. The four boys and their coach will be brought out in the one mission, according to Narongsak Osatanakorn, the head of the joint command centre coordinating the operation.

"If everything goes right, we will see four kids and a coach and Seals that have stayed with the kids all coming out," he said. "Four plus one coach, so it's five."

Thirteen foreign cave diving experts and five Thai navy rescuers joined the first operation on Sunday that has taken out four from the cave. Rescuers spent about 11 hours on the mission.

Another four boys were extracted by the same team on Monday. Rescuers managed to complete the mission in nine hours.

Narongsak said torrential rains overnight have not affected the operation. It would be even faster than Monday's, since they have learned some experience from former operations, he said.

Twelve boys, aged from 11 to 16, and their coach, 25, went missing in the flooded cave since June 23. They were found on July 2 when the search joined by more than 1,000 personnel entered the ninth day.

[ Editor: WPY ]


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