BANGKOK, July 10. /TASS/. Rescue workers have started the evacuation of the remaining four members of a youth football team and their 25-year-old coach from Thailand’s Khao Luang cave. According to the Khaosod newspaper, a group of 19 divers entered the cave at 10:08 local time (03:08 GMT).
"If everything goes according to plan, then the four kids, doctors, the coach and divers will come out of the cave today," said former Governor of the Chiang Rai province Narongsak Osottanakorn, who leads the rescue operation. He added that despite occasional heavy rain, the water level in the cave made it possible to conduct the evacuation. "Preparations for the third stage have been going on since early morning," he noted.
On Tuesday, Osottanakorn said that the evacuation process had been stepped up. "On the first day it took 11 hours, on the second day it was nine hours and today things are likely to go even faster," he said.
On June 23, national park staff found a motorbike, bicycles and sports equipment near a cave entrance and contacted a local football club, which confirmed that those things belonged to 12 kids aged between 11 and 16 years and their 25-year-old coach. The cave where the group went missing stretches almost ten kilometers, it has several entrances and exits, as well as large chambers, where the group members found shelter from the rising waters caused by a rainy season downpour.
On July 8-9, divers managed to bring out eight children, who were taken to the hospital in helicopters.