"If nothing goes wrong the four boys and the coach, along with the doctor and three Seals with them, will leave the cave together today". Officials have yet to confirm the identities of the four boys freed.
Tuesday's operation began just after 10 a.m.
It could be at least seven days before they can be released from hospital, Jedsada told a news conference.
A spokesperson from the Thai public health authority said that they were in "high spirits" and also claimed that as they are football players, they have high immune systems. He said a medic and three SEALS in the cave, who've been looking after those trapped, will also come out. Doctors said the boys are being carefully.
A crack team of foreign divers and Thai Navy SEALS guided the boys during a nine-hour operation through almost 4 km of sometimes submerged, pitch-dark channels from where they have been trapped for more than a fortnight.
A health official earlier described the mental and physical condition of the eight rescued so far as "good", adding they will be kept in hospital for around a week.
He said two of them possibly have a lung infection but all eight are generally "healthy and smiling". Musk says he's there to help, and you better believe he brought his kid-sized submarine with him.
Four of the boys were safely rescued on Sunday after rescuers carried out a risky operation, amid fears the waters will rise again to a unsafe level.
But bringing out the remaining four boys and their coach could take more than one operation, Narongsak warned.
Rescuers are racing to remove the remaining five members of the Wild Boar soccer team from the cave before the return of heavy monsoon rains. Workers have been laboring around the clock to pump water out of the cave, and authorities said Monday that heavy downpours overnight did not raise water levels inside.
An elite team of Thai Navy SEALs and foreign rescue divers on Tuesday began what they hoped would be a final push to rescue four boys and their soccer coach from a cave near the Thai-Myanmar border after extracting eight others through a labyrinth of tight passages.
Rescuers walk toward the entrance to a cave complex where five were still trapped, in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand Tuesday, July 10, 2018.
The four rescued boys have been transported to a Chiang Rai hospital for treatment and medical evaluations, reported CBS. This seems less likely now given the need for the boys to undergo further tests. According to NBC News, the twelve boys, ages 11 to 16, and their 25-year old coach entered the caves two weeks ago but were trapped after rain caused flooding.
Musk, head of Tesla and the Boring Company, tweeted that the tube would be "light enough to be carried by 2 divers, small enough to get through narrow gaps" and "extremely robust".
Musk posted videos and photos of divers testing out the submarine in a Los Angeles pool.
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