Rescued Thai boys ‘safe and conscious’

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MAE SAI, Thailand (AP) The official heading the Thai cave rescue operation says the four boys brought out of the flooded cave by divers on Monday are “safe and conscious” and now in a hospital.

Indian students pray for boys and their soccer coach who have been trapped since June 23, in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand, at a school in Ahmadabad, India, Monday, July 9, 2018. Two more ambulances have left the site of a flooded cave in northern Thailand where young members of a soccer team and their 25-year-old coach have been trapped for more than two weeks. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

Chiang Rai acting Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn also told a news conference that Monday’s operation, which was the second day of a high-stakes rescue effort, took less time than Sunday’s because of the experience accumulated and more people involved.

An emergency team believed to be carrying one of the rescued boys from the flooded cave heads to the hospital in Chiang Rai as divers evacuated some of the 12 boys and their coach trapped at Tham Luang cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand, Monday, July 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Eight of the 13 trapped people — a total of 12 boys and their 25-year-old soccer coach — have now been rescued.

Narongsak said he’s not sure if the remaining five people will be extracted in one or more operations.

He said Thailand’s prime minister, who visited the cave site Monday, has gone to visit all eight boys in the hospital.