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08/07/2018 - 20:19

Rescuers begin operation to extract Thai boys trapped in cave

Divers began an operation to rescue 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in a cave complex in northern Thailand, the head of the rescue mission said on Sunday, July 8.

Rescuers carry a giant water pump into a cave in Chiang Rai, Thailand, on July 6, 2018. (Photo:Xinhua)

Rescuers began the mission at 10 am local time (0300 GMT) and it would take many hours before the first boy emerged from the cave, Narongsak Osottanakorn, head of the rescue mission, told reporters.

On Sunday morning, Thai authorities announced to clear the area near the cave where 12 boys and their coach have been trapped for more than two weeks, raising speculations that further rescue operation could take place soon.

Media and others not involved in the rescue operation have been asked to leave the site near the cave where most of them have been gathering and keeping watch the rescue operation. Large media contingent packed their stuffs and moved to a subdistrict administration area at the foot of the mountain.

According to reporters near the spots in early Sunday, several ambulances have arrived at the cave site.

The 12 footballers, aged between 11 and 16 and their coach, 25, went missing in the cave since June 23. Rescue teams launched a round-the-clock search and found them on July 2./.

NDO/Reuters, Xinhua