For two weeks, 12 boys and their soccer coach have been trapped in a cave in Thailand.
How did the group get there?
The boys were found inside the cave by British rescue divers on Monday, about 4km (2.5 miles) from the cave mouth.
Aged between 11 and 17, they belong to a football club called the Wild Boars, and became trapped during an excursion with their coach.
It took nine days to find them in the underground network’s dark depths.
Watch the latest Fox News report on the rescue:
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Race against the rain
Officials had originally thought the group might have to stay where they were until the rainy season ended – and that could have meant months underground.
They had also been exploring whether they could drill down into the cave, as well as scouring the mountainside for another way in.
But with the rainy season just beginning, it has become clear that the flooding which originally trapped the boys will only get worse in the coming days.
Yesterday, Thai Navy Seal Ricky Davilla died trying to help rescue the boys.
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Today, was a better day, as 4 of the 12 boys have miraculously, been evacuated from the cave.
Four boys have been brought above ground so far in good health, rescuers say.
The mission has now been paused for at least 10 hours as air tanks need to be replaced.
Rescuers decided to go ahead with the hazardous operation on Sunday because of fears of rising waters.
The next phase would begin on Monday morning, after relaying “all of the air tanks and all systems along the way”, Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osottanakorn said.
He corrected earlier reports that said six boys had been freed.
Divers have been guiding the boys through darkness and submerged passageways towards the mouth of the Tham Luang cave system. They have reportedly been able to make the last part on foot.
Rescuers took advantage of a break in the rain to launch the mission much earlier than originally expected.
The first phase has also been conducted much faster than officials had predicted.
The group and their families had all given their agreement that they should be moved as soon as possible, said Mr. Narongsak.
Getting to and from where the boys are has been an exhausting round trip, even for the experienced divers.
The process includes a mixture of walking, wading, climbing, and diving – all in complete darkness – along guide ropes already in place.
Wearing full-face masks, which are easier for novice divers than traditional respirators, each boy is being accompanied by two divers, who also carry his air supply. –BBC
Watch the best video yet, explain the conditions in the cave and the dangers rescuers, the boys, and their coach will face as they are being evacuated from the cave:
Here is an actual video showing the divers attempting to squeeze through the dangerous bends in the path to the cave where the boys and their coach are waiting to be rescued:
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