A more than two-week ordeal came to an end Tuesday after rescue crews evacuated a man and the last of 12 boys who became trapped on June 23 in a cave in northern Thailand.
Here are the latest updates:
Update 11:05 a.m. EDT July 10: At a news conference Tuesday, rescuers remembered Sgt. Sama Kunan, a former Thai navy SEAL who died last week while replenishing oxygen canisters for the trapped boys and their coach. The 38-year-old triathlete ran out of air in the flooded cave, according to CNN.
He was remembered Tuesday to resounding cheers in Thailand. Across social media, he was hailed as a hero.
Narongsak Osatanakorn, who headed the rescue mission, confirmed Tuesday that the “Wild Boars” soccer team and its coach were at a hospital after divers, including Kunan, worked for days to free them.
"I can officially say that the rest of the boys have been rescued,” Osatanakorn said. “Their parents are going home to take a shower and change. They should be able to visit the children through the glass tonight."
Officials have been keeping those rescued from the cave in quarantine as they undergo a battery of tests to check for diseases and infections that they might have contracted while trapped in the cave.
Update 10:10 a.m. EDT July 10: A doctor and Navy SEALs who remained in Tham Luang Nang Non after 12 boys and their soccer coach were rescued Tuesday have left the cave, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
The Thai government on Tuesday released a photo of the “Wild Boars” soccer team, including the boys, who are aged between 11 and 16, and their 25-year-old coach.
"Hurray," Thai government officials wrote on Facebook. "They are coming home."
Update 9:25 a.m. EDT July 10: Celebrations have broken out in Thailand after rescuers evacuated a soccer coach and the last four of his 12 team members after they were trapped for more than two weeks in a cave.
A crowd of well-wishers gathered outside Chiang Rai hospital, where the boys were being treated after their rescues, BBC News reported.
On Thai television, volunteer rescue workers were seen singing and dancing in celebration, The Guardian reported.
Update 9 a.m. EDT July 10: President Donald Trump and billionaire Elon Musk were among those who shared congratulations Tuesday after divers managed to rescue a team of youth soccer players and their coach from a cave in northern Thailand.
“On behalf of the United States, congratulations to the Thai Navy SEALs and all on the successful rescue of the 12 boys and their coach from the treacherous cave in Thailand,” Trump wrote in a tweet. “Such a beautiful moment - all freed, great job!”
Musk, who sent engineers and a “kid-size submarine” to help in the rescue efforts, also heralded the news.
Update 8:08 a.m. EDT July 10: The Thai navy SEALs Facebook page has shared the following posts:
“Twelve ‘Wild Boars’ and coach out of the cave. Everyone safe,” the post said, adding that four “frogs” remain.
According to the Guardian, the term “frogs” is referring to three divers and a doctor who were helping the boys and their coach.
A second post asked onlookers to “send encouragement” to those rescuers.
Update 7:57 a.m. EDT July 10: The Thai navy SEALs say the coach has been rescued, as well, The Associated Press is reporting.
Update 7:32 a.m. EDT July 10: Reporters at the scene say they have seen a helicopter fly by, presumably taking one of the rescued boys to the hospital.
The news came not long after the Thai navy SEAL Facebook page shared a message that roughly translates as, “Tonight, all the ‘Wild Boars’ will be in group again. Hooyah ...”
Meanwhile, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters that the trapped boys were given an anti-anxiety drug to keep them calm while evacuating from the cave. He specified that the drug was not an anesthetic, according to the Guardian.
Update 1:42 a.m. EDT July 10: Rescuers are not planning to use the mini-submarine designed by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, said Narongsak Osatanakorn, who is leading the mission.
“Although his technology is good and sophisticated, it’s not practical for this mission,” Osatanakorn said Tuesday, according to the Guardian.
Update 1:17 a.m. EDT July 10: According to the Guardian, 19 divers are involved in Tuesday’s mission to free the last four boys and the coach from the cave, officials said.
Update 11:45 p.m. EDT July 9: Thai health officials are releasing more information on the condition of the rescued boys.
The first four boys rescued on Sunday are between the ages of 14 and 16, according to The Associated Press, and two of them may be suffering from lung infections. Officials said they’ll remain hospitalized for at least seven days and will undergo psychological evaluations even though they’re said to be in “high spirits,” the AP reported.
The Guardian is reporting the boys have also seen their parents for the first time since leaving the cave.
Update 11:15 p.m. EDT July 9: Divers and emergency responders have started on what could be the final phase of an attempt to rescue five remaining members of a youth soccer team from a cave in northern Thailand, according to CNN.
Four boys and their coach were still trapped some two-and-a-half miles inside the network of caves located near Thailand’s border with Myanmar as monsoon rains resumed Tuesday.
Although authorities have managed to pump water out of the cave system, officials fear the rains could begin to fill it up again and create even more dangerous conditions as divers try and reach the remaining team members.
CNN cited a Thai Navy official for the latest information on the attempted rescue, which is expected to take hours.
Emergency responders rested Monday after bringing out four more boys and said they needed time to refill their oxygen tanks before making another attempt.
A total of 8 boys have been rescued so far after members of the soccer team became trapped in the cave on June 23 during a hike.
Update 11:15 a.m. EDT July 9: The four boys who were pulled Monday from Tham Luang Nang Non were in better condition than the four boys rescued Sunday, the person in charge of the rescue mission said Monday night at a news conference, according to CNN.
Narongsak Osotthanakorn declined to elaborate on the condition of the boys, except to say that they were in good condition, CNN reported.
At least one more rescue mission will be needed to free the five people that remain trapped, including the team’s 25-year-old coach. Officials earlier said that the boys, who decided to explore the cave system with their coach after soccer practice on June 23, range in age from 11 to 16.
Update 10 a.m. EDT July 9: Thai government officials confirmed on social media that four boys were rescued Monday from a flooded cave in northern Thailand, bringing the total number of boys evacuated from the Tham Luang cave to eight.
Four boys and their 25-year-old coach remained trapped.
Update 8:55 a.m. EDT July 9: Rescue operations have been suspended for the day in Thailand’s Tham Luang cave after four boys were rescued Monday, CNN reported, citing a person working with the rescue team. Monday’s rescues brought the total number of boys saved from the cave to eight.
Four other boys and their coach remained trapped Monday.
Officials did not immediately confirm the rescues, however, The Associated Press noted that officials waited several hours before confirming that four boys had been pulled from the cave Sunday.
The boys’ conditions were not immediately known. Several ambulances were seen leaving the area Monday night.
Update 6:31 a.m. EDT July 9: Multiple news outlets are reporting that an ambulance drove away from the cave site amid unconfirmed reports that a fifth boy was evacuated.
“The ambulance drove toward a helipad, where a helicopter was seen taking off shortly after to the cheers of the crowd below,” The Associated Press reported.
Update 4:08 a.m. EDT July 9: The Guardian reported the following key updates from the press briefing with Chiang Rai’s acting governor, Narongsak Osatanakorn:
- The boys rescued Sunday are OK and are already asking to eat basil with chicken.
- Law enforcement officials are complaining about journalists listening to the police radio and flying a drone above the rescue site.
- Authorities may let the rescued boys’ parents see them through a “glass room.”
- Monday’s rescue mission resumed at 11 a.m. local time (12 a.m. EDT).
- Officials said rain Sunday “did not affect water levels inside the cave.”
- The boys being rescued first are “the perfect ones, the most ready ones.”
- Officials “hope to hear good news in the next few hours.”
Update 3:44 a.m. EDT July 9: According to the Guardian, Thai officials say divers have resumed the rescue mission to evacuate the trapped boys. Officials are expected to give a press briefing shortly.
Update 2:12 a.m. EDT July 9: Thai officials still have not held their daily press conference about Monday’s rescue operations, the Guardian is reporting.
Officials said earlier Monday that divers will need “several hours” to “place more air canisters along the underwater route” before resuming the mission, according to the newspaper.
Jacob Goldberg, a reporter at the scene, tweeted that a helicopter and ambulance appeared to be heading to the rescue site.
He also reported heavy rain in the area.
Update 10:15 p.m. EDT July 8: After heavy rains poured throughout the night, the next phase of the rescue mission could begin within a 10-hour window Monday morning, according to The Associated Press.
It is still unclear how the monsoon rains affected water levels inside the cave where eight boys and their coach remain trapped.
A 60 percent chance of rain is forecast for Monday, Thailand’s Meteorological Department said.
Elon Musk posted video Sunday evening of a test of a child-size submersible that could be used for the rescue mission.
If successful the sub would be flown 17 hours to Thailand.
Update 10:20 a.m. EDT July 8: Narongsak Osotthanakorn, Chiang Rai’s governor who is heading the cave rescue, said the next phase of the rescue operation will begin in 10 to 20 hours, The Associated Press reported.
Update 9:56 a.m. EDT July 8: Four boys evacuated from the cave “are safely in doctors’ hands,” Narongsak Osotthanakorn, Chiang Rai’s governor, said at a news conference.
The boys were wearing full face masks, the governor said.
Update 9:02 a.m. EDT July 8: Thai navy SEALS said four soccer team members have been removed from the cave, according to The Associated Press.
“The 4th wild boar is out of the cave,” the Thai navy Seals wrote on their Facebook page.
Update 8:42 a.m. EDT July 8: "Two kids are out. They are currently at the field hospital near the cave," said Tossathep Boonthong, chief of Chiang Rai's health department and part of the rescue team, according to an NBC News report.
"We are giving them a physical examination. They have not been moved to Chiang Rai hospital yet," Tossathep told Reuters.
Multiple news outlets are reporting that an ambulance was seen leaving the cave rescue site.
Update 5:53 a.m. EDT July 8: The first of four groups of boys should be making the journey toward the cave’s mouth, according to the Guardian.
Officials said two rescue divers will lead each of the boys through the cave using rope, the newspaper reported. The boys will wear face masks.
Meanwhile, officials appeared to be testing an idea similar to one proposed by SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk.
Update 1:03 a.m. EDT July 8: Chiang Rai’s acting governor, Narongsak Osatanakorn, said five divers from Thailand and 13 from other countries are participating in the rescue mission, the AP reported.
The rescuers began the operation, which officials said could take from two to four days, at 10 a.m. local time Sunday (11 p.m. EDT Saturday).
“As we look at the weather forecast, a storm is coming and torrential rain is expected, then our 100 percent readiness will decrease and we will have to pump the water out again,” Osatanakorn said, according to the Guardian.
The AP reports that “two divers will accompany each boy as they are gradually extracted.”
The boys and their families know about the operation and support it, officials said.
“Today is D-Day,” Osatanakorn said.
Update 11:44 p.m. EDT July 7: Thai officials have started a rescue mission to bring a soccer team and its coach trapped in a cave since June 23 to the surface, according to The Associated Press.
Original report: Thai authorities asked media to leave the area around the entrance of the cave, fueling speculation that rescue efforts for 12 boys and their soccer coach, who have been trapped in an underground cave since June 23, are ramping up.
Authorities had been working to pump out water from the flooded cave before more rains hit the country’s northern region.
The boys, ranging in age from 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach decided to go exploring in the cave after competing in a soccer game. Flooding brought on by the monsoon cut off their escape, preventing rescuers from finding them for almost 10 days.
The group is trapped in a small chamber 2.5 miles inside the cave network. They have a limited supply of oxygen, CNN reported.
Earlier efforts to pump out water from the cave were thwarted each time there has been a heavy rain.
Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk sent engineers from two of his companies to Thailand on Friday in an effort to help the government rescue the group.
One rescuer, Sgt. Saman Kunan, a former Thai navy SEAL, died Thursday afternoon after a drop of oxygen levels in the caves. The drop of the oxygen levels was a cause of concern as the level was nearing a potentially dangerous point, CNN reported.
Check back for updates to this developing story. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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