Rescue efforts continue in Thailand for youth soccer players trapped in flooded cave


MAE SAI, Thailand — A Thai public health official says the eight boys rescued from a flooded cave in northern Thailand are in “high spirits” and have strong immune systems because they are soccer players.

Jesada Chokdumrongsuk, deputy director-general of the Public Health Ministry, said Tuesday that the first four boys rescued, aged 12 to 16, are now able to eat normal food.

He said two of them possibly have a lung infection but all eight are generally “healthy and smiling.” He said, “the kids are footballers so they have high immune systems.”

The second group of four rescued on Monday are aged 12 to 14. Family members have seen at least some of the boys from behind a glass barrier.

Four boys and their soccer coach remain in the cave.

Four ambulances and a convoy of other vehicles arrived at the cave site Tuesday morning as rains hit the region. Officials heading the rescue operation had said they were preparing a third rescue mission.

Monday’s rescue effort took about nine hours, two fewer than the day before, in a sign of growing confidence and expertise. Each of the rescued boys has been guided through the dark winding cave by two pairs of divers.

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