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4 More Boys Pulled From Flooded Cave In Thailand

MAE SAI, Thailand (CBSNewYork) -- Eight of 12 boys who were tapped inside a flooded cave in Thailand have now been brought to the surface following a second round of rescue operations on Monday.

The second phase of the rescue mission began around 11 a.m. local time (midnight ET) and took several hours.


Four boys were brought out of the cave Monday and are "safe and conscious," Chiang Rai province acting Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said.

Four boys were previously pulled from the cave on Sunday. Four more boys and their coach still remain inside the cave.

The goal is to get them all out before heavy rain forecasted makes it even more difficult to reach them. 

"You can't make a horror movie that would even compare," said Anmar Mirza with the National Cave Rescue Mission. "I've been involved in cave rescue for 30 years and I cannot even think of one that was more complicated."

The 12 boys, ages 11 to 16 and their coach had been trapped for more than two weeks.

"Think about the responsibility of taking a kid under/beneath there and the conditions are really scary," said rescuer Rafael Aroush.

The first out of the cave were the healthiest members of the team. Divers guided them though more than two miles of dark and narrow tunnels filled with murky water and strong currents.

"The trust factor between the children and diver makes it," said Mizra. "It's probably 90 percent of what gets them out of the cave."

Two divers have been escorting each child, following a cave line that stretches a mile and a half. Divers have taught the boys to breathe through full-face scuba gear for the areas they must swim underwater.

As for the boys who have been rescued, they are in isolation and being monitored at a hospital for infection.

Health experts also say the lack of sunlight and being in a confined space for more than two weeks can take a toll on them both physically and mentally.

"You start to hallucinate, you see things, you hear things," said Dr. Robert Glatter, emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital. "You can't really have a sense of who you are or others around you."

One of the biggest concerns in the rescue operation is an area of the cave that is just 15 inches across so the boys have to separate from the divers in order to fit through.

Cave workers have been drilling holes to make it easier to navigate the cave.


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