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Thai PM thanks people involved in cave rescue

/ 06:06 PM July 11, 2018

Students pray at Maesaiprasitsart school where six out of the rescued 12 boys study as they cheer the successful rescue in the Mae Sai district in Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand on July 11, 2018.  AP

MAE SAI, Thailand — Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has thanked people involved in the rescue of the 12 boys and coach trapped in a flooded cave for more than two weeks.

Prayuth gave a televised national address Wednesday, saying the government’s efforts, the assistance of people in Thailand and abroad, and the outpouring of moral support made the mission a success.

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He also acknowledged the loss of a former navy SEAL, Saman Kunan, who died last week while replenishing air tanks inside the cave. Prayuth said, “His honour, sacrifice and legacy will forever be in our hearts.”

The soccer teammates had become trapped in the cave June 23 and were finally extracted by experienced divers over three days.

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A Thai health official says the soccer teammates rescued from a flooded cave lost weight during their two-week ordeal but had water while they were trapped and are in good health.

Thongchai Lertwilairatanapong, a public health inspector, said Wednesday the 12 boys and coach rescued over the three previous days “took care of themselves well in the cave.”

Thongchai said one member of the final group of four boys and the coach who arrived at a hospital Tuesday evening had a slight lung infection.

Two of the first group had a lung infection as well, and Thongchai said they would need medicine for seven days.

Divers extracted the team in a high-risk mission inside the flooded passageways. The group entered the cave June 23 but flooding cut off the exit. /ee

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TAGS: missing boys and their soccer coach, Thailand cave rescue, Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha
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