After more than two weeks trapped inside a dark cave in northern Thailand, all 12 members of the Wild Boars soccer team and their coach have been rescued. The announcement appeared on the Thai Navy SEALS Facebook page on Tuesday, July 10. “We will celebrate together finally,” the message read in part. “Hooyah!”
The boys, who range in age from 11 to 16, and Ekapol Chanthawong, 25, were exploring the cave system in Chiang Rai after a practice game on June 23, when monsoon rains flooded the entrance. For 17 days, Thai navy SEALS, divers and engineers delivered food, medical care and oxygen to the group while working to free them. The effort turned tragic on Friday, July 6, when former Navy SEAL Saman Kunan ran out of oxygen and died.
Officials revealed on Tuesday that the first eight boys rescued from the cavern were in good health overall and some requested bread slathered with chocolate for breakfast. “At this moment [there are] no worrisome conditions, everyone is safe,” Thailand’s Health Secretary, Jesada Chokedamrongsuk, told reporters per Reuters.
According to Reuters, the children — they have low body temperatures and two have lung infections —will remain quarantined in a hospital for the next week to undergo testing.
“The kids are footballers and have high immune systems,” Chokedamrongsuk said per USA Today. “Everyone is in high spirits and are happy to get out. But we will have a psychiatrist to evaluate them.”
The story captured national attention since British divers discovered the boys on Monday, July 2. As one person Tweeted on Tuesday: “I have been so worried and had such a feeling of dread for these poor kids and the coach. This news is the greatest news!!”
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