Rescuers at the entrance of Tham Luang cave (Photo: VNA)

 

Bangkok (VNA) – Rescue efforts to save 12 teenager footballers and their coach trapped in Tham Luang cave in Thailand could take from two to four days to complete, said rescue mission chief Narongsak Osottanakorn on July 8.

Many favourable conditions have arisen to get the boys out, including ideal weather and lower water level which allows walking instead of diving, he added.

Rescue operation to save the trapped team started at 10:00 (local time) on July 8. The water level in the cave is currently low, only 30 percent compared to the time local people began to pump water out. Divers can walk from the cave’s first chamber to the third, near the boys’ location.

Thirteen foreign and five Thai divers are participating in the operation. Two divers would escort each of the boys out of the cave. The first boy was expected to be brought out of the cave by around 9:00 pm (local time) after navigating the planned six-hour journey, Narongsak said.

In a press conference held the same day, he affirmed that the team’s members are ready to face any challenges.

Earlier, more than 1,000 journalists who registered to cover the rescue were instructed to leave the cave entrance for the rescue operation to start.

"Everyone who is not involved with the operations has to get out of the area immediately," police announced via loudspeaker at the site on the morning of July 8. From the situation assessment, police need to use the area to help victims, said Mae Sai police commander Komsan Sa-ardluan.

The conditions are perfect for evacuation in next three or four days. Sustained heavy rains could make the water rise to the shelf where the children were staying.-VNA