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Thai cave rescue Highlights: Healthiest of boys taken out first, next phase of operation to start in 10-20 hours

Dubbed as D-Day, Sunday saw the extraction of four of the 12 young Thai boys of a soccer team and their coach from a cave where they have been trapped for more than two weeks. Here are the highlights:

By Agencies | Jul 08, 2018 23:56 IST

A dangerous mission to rescue 12 Thai schoolboys and their soccer coach trapped inside a flooded cave for more than two weeks began on Sunday and authorities managed to bring out its first two survivors on Sunday evening.

So far, four of the boys have been rescued and taken to a hospital. The head of the operation said the healthiest were taken out first.

Thirteen foreign divers and five members of Thailand’s elite navy SEAL unit are trying to bring the boys – some as young as 11 and weak swimmers – through narrow, submerged passageways that claimed the life of a former Thai navy diver on Friday.

Their ordeal has drawn huge media attention in Thailand and abroad, and getting the boys out safely could be a boost for Thailand’s ruling junta ahead of a general election next year.

Here are the highlights:

8:06pm IST

Four rescued so far

Reuters clarifies that only four of the trapped boys have been rescued so far. Operations have been halted for divers to prepare for the next phase.

7:31pm IST

‘Healthiest first’

The healthiest of those trapped in the cave have been taken out first, says Thai official heading the cave rescue operation, according to AP news agency.

7:30pm IST

‘Going better than expected’

Thai official heading the cave rescue says the operation is going better than expected, AP reports.

7:26pm IST

Next operation could take place 10 hours later

Rescue workers need about 10 hours to prepare for next operation, Reuters quotes heads of rescue operation as saying. There are 90 divers, including 50 from abroad, involved in the operation.

7:20pm IST

Four rescued boys in hospital

Head of rescue operations said the four rescued boys have been taken to the hospital safely where they will receive further medical attention, Reuters reports.

6:17pm IST

Six boys extracted from cave

Six boys have exited the cave, Reuters news agency quotes a senior member of the rescue medical team.

6:14pm IST

Ambulances leave Thai cave site

Two ambulances leave the cave site where extraction operations are underway. The ambulances drove to a nearby helipad and a helicopter was seen taking off. The ambulances and helicopter are on standby to take the rescue to a hospital.

One of two ambulances leave the cave in northern Thailand hours after operation began to extract the trapped youth soccer players and their coach, in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, in northern Thailand, on Sunday. (AP)

6:04pm IST

Two boys emerge from cave

Thai government announces that two boys have emerged from the flooded cave in which they were trapped. Two more to follow close behind.

5:28pm IST

Two more boys rescued

AFP news agency quotes an official saying four boys in Thai cave have reached a rescue camp, and will walk out of the cave soon.

5:30pm IST

Rescue officials says two boys brought out

The first two members of a Thai schoolboy soccer team have been rescued from the flooded cave where they have been trapped for more than two weeks, Reuters reports quoting a local rescue official.