13 rescued from Thai cave to be released next week

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Bangkok, July 14 (IANS) The 12 school boys and football coach who were rescued from a cave in northern Thailand where they had been trapped over two weeks will be released from the hospital next week, the authorities said on Saturday.

Health Minister Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn told the press that all 12 boys – aged 11 to 16 – and their 25-year-old coach would be leaving Chiang Rai hospital on the same day, reports Efe news.

The announcement of their discharge came the same day that two new videos were released in which the rescued expressed their gratitude and said they were well.

Some talked about what they would like to eat and another said “thank you” in English.

The boys appear seated on their hospital beds with their mouths and noses covered by white masks while each of their identification numbers appear on the walls above the beds.

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The group entered the Tham Luang cave located in the northern province of Chiang Rai during an excursion on June 23 after completing a football training session when a sudden storm flooded their way out.

Their whereabouts were not known for nine days during which time they were also without food until they were found 4 km from the entrance on July 2 and finally rescued in batches.

The search and rescue teams sedated and transported them in stretchers underwater while navigating the flooded sections towards the exit.

Thai authorities are planning to turn the cave into a ‘living museum’ while the idea of turning the rescue into movies has also been mooted.

–IANS

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