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Thailand cave rescuers setting up internet, drain water

/ 10:10 AM July 05, 2018

In this July 3, 2018, image taken from video provided by the Thai Navy Seal, Thai boys are with Navy SEALs inside the cave, Mae Sai, northern Thailand. With heavy rains forecast to worsen flooding in a cave in northern Thailand where 12 boys and their soccer coach are waiting to be extracted by rescuers, authorities say they might be forced to have them swim out through a narrow, underwater passage. The 13 are described as healthy and being looked after by medics inside the cave.(Thai Navy Seal via AP)

MAE SAI, Thailand (AP) — A Thai official said rescue teams were still busy trying to install an internet cable to the cave so that parents can talk to their trapped children.

Korbchai Boonorana, deputy director of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, also said Thursday rescuers are continuing to drain water from wells near the cave complex to reduce water levels inside in order to make possible the extraction of the 12 teammates and their coach.

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“The water continues to be drained out. The more the better,” he said.

Thai authorities have been working to with Navy SEALs to run a fiber optic internet line into the flooded Tham Luang cave where 12 young soccer players and their coach are trapped.

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Communication technician Phoowanart Keawdum said Wednesday that once the cable is installed, phone calls to the cave will be possible.

Authorities tried to do the same Tuesday, but the equipment was damaged by the water.

Chiang Rai provincial Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said earlier that not all the boys may be extracted at the same time depending on their health.

He emphasized that any extraction has to be “100 percent safe.”

Osatanakorn explained Wednesday that “all 13 may not come out at the same time. If the condition is right and if that person is ready 100 percent, he can come out.”

He said authorities will evaluate the boys’ readiness each day and if there is any risk, will not proceed with the extraction.

He also said the team is currently recuperating.

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Rescuer carry water pipe makes their way up at the entrance to a cave complex where 12 boys and their soccer coach were trapped inside when heavy rains flooded the cave, in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, in northern Thailand, Wednesday, July 4, 2018. The Thai soccer teammates stranded more than a week in a partly flooded cave said they were healthy on a video released Wednesday, as heavy rains forecast for later this week could complicate plans to safely extract them. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

The two latest videos posted to a navy Facebook page late Wednesday morning show a Navy SEAL treating minor cuts on the feet and legs of the boys with antibiotic ointment. Several of the boys are seen smiling as they interact with the Navy SEAL, who cracks jokes.

Other boys, meanwhile, are seen sleeping under foil warming blankets.

A previous video released early Wednesday showed the boys saying they were healthy.

Osatanakorn said the boys have been practicing wearing diving masks and breathing.

Officials have said that teaching the 12 boys and their coach to dive may be the only way to get them out of the cave, but other options are also being explored.

But Osatanakorn also said that while the team has been practicing with masks, he doesn’t believe they have attempted any practice dives.  /kga

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TAGS: Accident, boys, cave, rescue, Soccer, Thailand, Tham Luang
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