First pictures emerge of Thai teens rescued from flooded cave

The first pictures and video have been released from the Chiang Rai hospital where 12 boys and their coach are being treated after being rescued from a flooded cave system on Tuesday.

The boys can be seen wearing face masks and hospital gowns, sitting upright and alert – one even gives the V for Victory sign to the camera.

One of the rescued teens gives a “victory” sign from hospital. Source: AP/Thai Government PDR

The pictures have been released as new details emerge of the complex operation to save the boys from the flooded cave in Chiang Rai in northern Thailand.

Hospital footage of the children was released during a press conference held by the rescue chief, acting Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osottanakorn, who has praised the children as “heroes.”

But their relieved parents and families will need to wait a little longer before they can wrap their arms around their sons.

Boys rescued from the Thai cave wearing masks and resting in a hospital in Chiang Rai. Source: Reuters/Thai Government PRD

They are malnourished and weak, and doctors are worried that they could be susceptible to germs spread by family members or other visitors, Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, a Columbia University infectious diseases expert, says.

But it is also possible they are an infection risks to others.

Thai doctors have said they did not know what type of unusual illnesses the boys may have picked up in the cave.

Staff look through glass at the boys rescued from the Thai cave at a hospital in Chiang Rai, Thailand. Source: Reuters/Thai Government PRD

If medical tests show no dangers after another two days, parents will be able to enter the isolation area dressed in sterilised clothing, staying two metres away from the boys, another public health official, Tosthep Bunthong, said.