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Thai PM thanks people involved in cave rescue

11 July 2018

Thais reacted with relief, gratitude and exhilaration after the last group of the "Wild Boars" soccer team was rescued from the Tham Luang cave, near the border with Myanmar, on Tuesday night, ending an ordeal that gripped Thailand and the world.

Rescue workers take out machines after 12 soccer players and their coach were rescued in Tham Luang cave complex in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, July 10, 2018. All the rescued are expected to be taken to the hospital soon.

Osatanakorn stepped down as the governor of Chiang Rai during the rescue operation, but remained its commander.

The boys won't attend the World Cup final.

Musk has expressed his desire to help with rescue efforts on social media, and orchestrated the creation of what he called a "kid-size submarine".

Meanwhile, Manchester United invited the boys to game at their home stadium Old Trafford next season while Portugese team Benfica invited the Wild Boars to an expenses-paid week at its training academy.

The 13, who became stranded on June 23 after heavy rains trapped them underground, are now recuperating in hospital in the nearest city, Chiang Rai.

Jubilation over the rescue was tinged with sadness over the loss of a former Thai navy diver volunteer Saman Gunan, 38, who died on Friday when he ran out of air on his return journey from delivering oxygen tanks to the cave. But Thai officials, acutely aware the monsoon rains could trap the boys for months, seized a window of opportunity provided by relatively mild weather.

Thai Navy SEALs who were clearing the flooded cave where 12 boys and their soccer coach were rescued, barely made it out after the main pump that had been siphoning water out of the cave failed, Thai military sources who were directly involved in the operation told ABC News.

There are still many police and soldiers around but the divers - of whom there were more than a 100 at peak time - have all gone, presumably to finally get some rest. Having completed this section, the boys are then handed over to separate, specialist rescue teams, who help assist them through the remainder of the cave, much of which they can wade through.

Two of the boys possibly have a lung infection but all eight are generally "healthy and smiling", he said. They will be able to eat normally this evening.

"The kids are footballers so they have high immune systems", Jedsada Chokdumrongsuk, permanent secretary at the Public Health Ministry, told a news conference.

They joined their teammates in quarantine there and will remain in hospital.

He also administered a sedative to the boys to calm them for the epic exit.

"I want to hug them first", said another one of the boys' coaches.

When the first four were rescued, one of the first things they asked was how the tournament was going.

US President Trump said their rescue was "a lovely moment".

Thai PM thanks people involved in cave rescue