Eight of the young Thai soccer players trapped in a partially flooded cave for more than two weeks have been rescued in a complex, daring and unsafe operation that has not yet been completed. But a father of one of the boys told Reuters parents "can't visit our boys in hospital" and that "we have not been told which child has been brought out".
But with oxygen levels inside dropping to risky lows and the prospect of heavy rains flooding the area completely, authorities decided they had to move quickly and take the group out through the water-filled tunnels.
The four boys who were rescued on Sunday appeared to be in good health, Thai officials said, but were undergoing a battery of medical tests in the hospital to ensure they were free from disease and infection.
And he has been true to his word, sending some of his top engineers to Thailand to help with the rescue, saying: "There are probably many complexities that are hard to appreciate without being there in person".
Hundreds of spectators and journalists have gathered in the area around the cave, hoping for news that the boys and their coach would emerge safely.
The "Wild Boars" football team and their coach got trapped on June 23 when they set out to explore the vast cave complex after football practice and the tunnels became flooded. Another five still await rescue, including the team's 25-year-old coach.
It's also been made possible by the efforts of former Thai Navy Seal Saman Gunan, who died delivering air tanks to the trapped boys last week in an effort to keep them alive. Two divers were assigned to each child to help them navigate the risky, narrow passageways. "We will not push them too hard on their studies", he said, adding that extra tutoring will be given to allow the boys to catch up on their missed work.
The remaining nine boys are still at the location where divers had found them about 500 metres from the so-called Pattaya Beach.
Somboon Sompiangjai, 38, whose son Peerapat, known as Night, is still in the cave, said parents had been told they would not be able to visit their sons once rescued.
CNN is reporting that eight of the twelve Thai soccer players have been rescued from the cave today.
The rescue operation was started on Sunday as more rain is expected this week, which would make it harder to rescue the boys. "The children complained that they were hungry and wanted holy basil stir-fried rice", Narongsak Osottanakorn, the head of the rescue operation, told reporters on Monday, referring to the popular Thai dish.
'We have not been told which child has been brought out.
But Narongsak said earlier that recent mild weather and falling water levels had created optimal conditions for an underwater evacuation. On top of all the concerns inside the cave, Thailand's rainy season is looming.