Rescue operation suspended after 8th boy freed from Thai cave

Thai soldiers prepare for the second day of an operation to bring football team out of Tham Luang cave complex

"I'm hoping for good news today", he said.

Alluding to that worry, the regional army commander offered his thanks Monday to the rain god Phra Pirun, imploring him to "keep showing us mercy".

Ten rescuers had put on scuba gear and headed into the Tham Luang cave network about 11 a.m. local time on Monday, Thai officials said. Thai navy SEALs and a medic who had been stationed with the boys for days, preparing them for their dive, were brought out of the cave soon after.

He did not say how many boys the team hoped to bring out on Monday.

The first four boys rescued from the cave are apparently now recovering well in hospital, demanding bowls of fried rice.

Monday's rescue effort took about nine hours, two fewer than the day before, in a sign of growing confidence and expertise.

Eight more boys and their coach need to be removed from the cave, and the rescue has resumed, CNN reports. On Monday, four more were rushed to a hospital.

On Sunday, teams of divers brought out four of the trapped boys but waited several hours before confirming their safe rescue.

The Thai youth soccer team and their coach became trapped in the cave they were exploring on June 23 after heavy rains flooded exits.

They were guided by expert divers who plotted the hours-long escape through more than four kilometres (2.5 miles) of twisting passageways and flooded chambers.

The soccer team seen in the cave last week, before anyone was rescued. And while oxygen is placed along the road, one experienced ex-Thai Navy SEAL diver lost his life last week while replacing the oxygen canisters.

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Officials lavished praise on the Thai and worldwide divers who, in pairs of two, executed the risky rescue mission, guiding the boys, who could barely swim and had no diving experience, through a treacherous 2½-mile-long escape route that twisted and turned through the cavern.

Mr Narongsak allayed concerns that recent heavy rain might have raised water levels, saying conditions were "as good as yesterday" "We should hear good news again", he added. His colleagues said they would "not let the sacrifice of our friend go to waste".

Narongsak Osotthanakorn confirmed during a press briefing that four of the stranded party had been rescued and sent to Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital.

"Our job is not completely done", Mr Narongsak said.

On Sunday night, Thai navy SEALs posted a celebratory note on their Facebook page, saying: "Have sweet dreams everyone".

Monsoon flooding cut off their escape route and prevented rescuers from finding them for nearly 10 days.

Here are some pictures of the dramatic mission captivating Thailand and the world.

Among those are U.S. military partners, British cave diving experts - including the two men who first located the boys a week ago - and rescue workers from Australia, China and other countries.

None of them have fevers, and all are able to eat normal "medical" food, the doctor said, an improvement from the watered-down porridge they were fed when they were first rescued.

On Sunday, Musk tweeted videos of his engineers testing a "kid-size submarine" underwater in Los Angeles - a submarine that apparently is now on its way to Thailand.

All preparations, including replacing the oxygen cylinders positioned along the route out in the cave, take at least 20 hours, he said. However, it is unclear if the device is part of any current rescue plans. "Very fearless and talented people!"

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