Two boys rescued from Thai cave suffering lung infections

Two boys rescued from the flooded cave in northern Thailand have a lung infection but all are in good spirits, health officials say.

The first four children who were safely removed from inside the Tham Luang Nang Non cave on Sunday will all be hospitalised for at least seven days, authorities confirmed, as rescuers prepared for a third push to rescue the remaining four boys and their coach.

Jesada Chokdumrongsuk, deputy director-general of the Public Health Ministry, said Tuesday that the first four boys rescued, aged 12 to 16, are now able to eat normal food.

He said despite two of them suffering from possible lung infections, all eight boys, including the four were who saved in the second push are generally “healthy and smiling.”

They all remain on saline drips as they are given medication intravenously. 

An emergency team believed to be carrying one of the rescued boys from the flooded cave heads to the hospital in Chiang Rai. Source: AP
Hospital workers watch a press conference at their hospital where the rescued boys are recovering. Source: AP

In the second group, rescued on Monday night, one of the boys had an unusually low pulse but all were in good condition by Tuesday morning, the Bangkok Post reports.

“The kids are footballers so they have high immune systems,” Jesada said.

“Everyone is in high spirits and are happy to get out. But we will have a psychiatrist to evaluate them.”

Family members have seen at least some of the boys from behind a glass isolation barrier, and Jesada said doctors may let the boys walk around their beds Tuesday.

It was clear doctors were taking a cautious approach. Jesada said they were uncertain what type of infections the boys could face “because we have never experienced this kind of issue from a deep cave.”

The Bangkok Post reports doctors were concerned about some boys registering high white blood cell counts and they are awaiting laboratory tests to determine if any diseases had been picked up.

The second group of four rescued on Monday are aged 12 to 14. Four boys and their 25-year-old soccer coach remain deep in the cave, an ordeal that has lasted more than two weeks after they trapped inside by floods.

Two ambulances carrying the sixth and seventh boys freed from the Tham Luang Nang Non cave. Source: AP

Four ambulances and a convoy of other vehicles arrived at the cave site Tuesday morning as rains hit the region. Officials heading the rescue operation had said they were preparing a third rescue mission.

Monday’s rescue effort took about nine hours, two fewer than the day before, in a sign of growing confidence and expertise.

Each of the rescued boys has been guided through the dark, winding cave by two pairs of divers.

‘Mini-sub ready if needed’: Elon Musk tweets from Thai cave

The update on their condition comes just after Space X CEO Elon Musk tweeted from the caves, saying his mini submarine, named after the boys soccer team, was on location and ready to use should it be required.

Musk took to Twitter to reveal after visiting cave three, saying he will be leaving his state of the art submarine for rescuers to utilise at any time.

Musk said the ‘wild boar’ was ready to go if required. Source: Twitter / Elon Musk

He said the submarine, which is made of rocket parts, is named “Wild Boar after the kid’s soccer team”.

“Leaving here in case it may be useful in the future. Thailand is so beautiful,” he wrote.

On Monday Musk shared vision of the submarine, capable of carrying a child through the treacherous passageways of the cave complex, simulating an underwater manoeuvre.

But on Tuesday the rescue team politely declined his offer of help.

“Although his technology is good and sophisticated it’s not practical for this mission,” Governor Narongsak Osatanakorn said.