Bangkok, July 10: All the 13 people who were trapped in a cave in Thailand since June 23 have been rescued, said reports. The 13 trapped included 12 teenagers who were part of a football team and their 25-year-old coach.
Elite foreign divers and Thai Navy SEALs extracted the final batch of four boys, plus the 25-year-old coach, on Tuesday afternoon via a treacherous escape route that required them to squeeze through narrow, water-filled tunnels, said reports.
"We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science, or what. All the thirteen Wild Boars are now out of the cave," the SEAL unit said on its Facebook page, referring to the boys by the name of their football team.
The football team named Wild Boars entered the complex cave system after they had entered it on June 23 for the purpose of exploration but got stranded after sudden flooding caused by heavy rain blocked the exit. They were located by some British divers on July 3 and were trapped inside for over two weeks now.
Tuesday was the third day of the rescue operation which the authorities were pushing yet cautiously, keeping in mind the factor that heavy rains were approaching that would leave the narrow tunnels inside the cave leading to the stranded team submerged and make it extremely difficult for the operation.
Four boys were brought out of the confinement on Sunday and Monday each and were taken to hospital for medical checkup.
Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan o cha on Tuesday met the relatives of the boys trapped inside the cave. He was supposed to visit the cave on Monday but apprehension over his visit disrupting the rescue operation deferred the schedule. The PM instead stayed in nearby Chiang Rai where the boys were being treated after their rescue.
Meanwhile, the Thai prime minister's office thanked tech entrepreneur Elon Musk for his offer to evacuate the trapped kids with help of mini-submarines, AFP reported. Musk himself also visited the cave in Thailand with his ingenious solution to help the rescue mission.