Newest rescues are healthier than first boys freed from cave

The four boys rescued from a subterranean cave in Thailand on Monday are healthier than those pulled out a day earlier, the rescue mission’s commander said.

Provincial Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said in a press briefing that the boys taken to the Chiang Rai hospital Monday were all conscious and in better condition than those rescued Sunday, classifying them as “good” and “safe,” CNN reported.

“We are so happy to rescue another four,” he said.

When asked if the four boys rescued on Sunday had eaten pad grapao, the Thai meat basil dish they’d been clamoring for, Osatanakorn said no, but that they were “fine” and could eat other normal foods, like porridge, according to the Guardian.

Rescuers on Monday shaved two hours off their initial estimate for how long it would take to get the boys out, with the operation starting at 11 a.m. and the first soccer player emerging around 4:30 p.m. local time.

It will now take rescuers another 20 hours to prepare equipment before the next operation, but timing could change depending on weather and water levels, Osatanakorn said.

Four boys and their 25-year-old coach remain in the Tham Luang cave, but Osatanakorn couldn’t say whether they would all be rescued in the next mission.

“I can’t tell,” he said. “It is up to the diving team. Their plan is designed for rescuing four.”

Officials will be meeting late Monday to discuss Tuesday’s plan.

Thailand’s prime minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha, who visited the cave Monday, also stopped by to see the eight boys in the hospital, Osatanakorn said.

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