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Thailand cave rescue: First pics of boys in hospital

12 July 2018

The success was announced after the final batch of stranded footballers was evacuated safely to Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital.

"This is clearly a time of grief for the Harris family, magnified by the physical and emotional demands of being part of this week's highly complex and ultimately successful rescue mission".

At least three of the boys in the team as well as their coach are stateless refugees and might have restricted travel rights, Reuters has reported.

The group became trapped in rising flood waters and were found nine days later emaciated and dishevelled on a muddy ledge, with water lapping ominously below.

The Thai football team rescued from a cave after 17 days underground will not attend the World Cup final due to medical reasons, FIFA has confirmed. The group entered the cave June 23 but flooding cut off the exit.

The dangers of the rescue were brought into sharp relief last Friday by the death of a retired Thai Navy SEAL as he ran out off air in the flooded cave complex as the extraction plans were being laid.

More news: Divers enter cave to bring out last trapped group

There are concerns they may have consumed contaminated water, while bird or bat droppings could cause infections.

Rescue mission chief Narongsak Osottanakorn said: 'We don't see the children as at fault or as heroes.

However, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has said precautions would have to be implemented both inside and outside the cave to safeguard tourists.

"But of course, they were conscious", he said. "The best way is not to bother them and let them study".

Even the rescuers reacted with disbelief at the successful evacuation of all team members.

On Monday, the evacuation of four boys took 11 hours.

More news: Nurse arrested over patient deaths 'put cleanser in drips'

The youngest, 11, appeared asleep under a crisp white sheet while others, including their 25-year-old soccer coach, sat in bed, their faces obscured by green surgical masks.

The group were led out in three batches by a team of 13 worldwide divers flanked by the Thai Navy SEALs, who greeted each successful rescue with a "Hooyah" on their Facebook page. There were also doctors stationed throughout the journey to monitor the condition of the boys, AFP reported.

Four Thai Navy Seals are seen after leaving the cave safe during the rescue mission, Chiang Rai Province, Thailand July 10, 2018 in this photo obtained from social media.

The rescue mission, in which a Thai navy diver died, involved 90 divers who captured the world's imagination as they tirelessly worked to save the boys. The first four evacuees had already removed their eye-protecting sunglasses and had started taking solid food.

When they finally emerged, they were given sunglasses to protect their eyes from the sunlight and carried to waiting helicopters.

But according to Los Angeles-based Ivanhoe Pictures, they have been officially picked by the Thai government and navy to develop the film.

More news: Thai football team rescue celebrated in the Dutch media

Thailand cave rescue: First pics of boys in hospital