A witness near the cave told the Reuters news agency that medical workers carried four people to emergency rescue vehicles.
The second day of the perilous extraction of 12 boys and their football coach trapped deep inside Tham Luang cave in Mae Sai district began at 11am Monday with an expanded team of divers.
Mild weather and falling water levels over the past few days created optimal conditions for an underwater evacuation, but that won't last if it rains again, Narongsak said. The distance from where the crew is trapped to the main entrance is about a half a mile, and the boys had to travel most of that distance underwater to reach freedom. The official declined to be identified as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda had said early Monday that the same group of expert divers who took part in Sunday's rescue would return to extricate the others because they know the cave conditions and what to do. It could reportedly take two to four days to complete the mission, officials said, so there is a chance that Musk's mini-sub will be there before the rescue is concluded. He said that process can take several hours.
"If we wait and the rain comes in the next few days we will be exhausted again from pumping and our readiness would drop".
Chief of the rescue mission, Narongsak Osottanakorn, declined to comment on the identity of the four people brought out in the evening, saying updates would be supplied at a news conference that is scheduled to be held late on Monday.
Narongsak said that the "same multinational team" that went into the cave on Sunday to retrieve the first four boys was deployed on Monday.
USA Today reported that the rescue began Sunday because a break in the rain had lowered water to the lowest levels since the boys were found.
The operation to rescue the boys, ages 11-16, and their 25-year-old coach by having them dive out of the flooded cave began Sunday morning, with expert divers entering the sprawling complex for the complicated and unsafe mission.
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Musk also said that a second sub, which is apparently 30cm shorter than the first one designed, was nearly complete, meaning that more than one device would be available for the rescues.
The four boys who are out have been taken to the hospital.
In a letter of his own, the coach, Ekapol Chanthawong, apologized to the boys' parents for the ordeal.
Four boys were retrieved from the cave Sunday, with Narongsak noting that the healthiest boys were removed first.
Adesman said that PTSD is an issue for protracted trauma, and he's optimistic the worst is behind the boys trapped in the cave.
"The four children are well at Chiang Rai Prachanukroh hospital". "This is a catabolic state for these kids and this coach, meaning they are breaking down muscle because their physiologic state of stress is so high", she said.
Officials wouldn't say how much diving the boys would be required to do in the rescue operation.
"We have not been told which child has been brought out ..." "I believe they want to eat khao pad kaw pow [fried rice and basil]", Osatanakorn said.
At some point, there was talk of leaving of the boys in the cave throughout the rainy season, Tracy said.
The world is captivated by the plight of a Thai soccer team trapped in a flooded cave - and so, too, is billionaire inventor Elon Musk.