At least three more boys rescued from flooded Thai cave

MAE SAI, Thailand (CBSN) - Reuters is reporting that an eighth boy has been brought out of the cave in Thailand as phase two of the rescue operation is underway. That leaves four boys plus the coach of the soccer team still stuck inside.  The boys have been trapped in the cave since June 23rd.

Since yesterday, four boys were brought out safely. Reuters Mission Commander Narongsak Osottanakorn says "the four children are well at Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital."

The mission commander said the four children are well at the hospital. He added that this morning they said they were hungry and asking for a favorite dish of fried rice with pork. 

The new rescue operation began just before midnight eastern time. The goal this time is to bring four to six of the team members out, depending on the conditions.

Time is of the essence - heavy monsoon rains pounded the area over the weekend. So far though, crews say water levels inside the cave haven't risen thanks to the pumps pulling water out. 

Osottanakorn says, "the oxygen tube has been put in place."  Thai officials say crews had to first restock the oxygen canisters along the escape route before resuming the rescue...something they were able to do quicker than expected.

The journey from the cave to the entrance is a treacherous one. The boys were escorted 2 and a half miles through a series of dark and flooded tunnels.  Thailand's interior minister says the same divers who took part in Sunday's rescue will also conduct the next operation as they know the cave conditions and what to do.

Divers say the initial rescue took about 13 hours to complete.

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