Rescue in Thailand: 4 boys pulled from cave

Four boys were rescued from a cave in Thailand after being trapped for 16 days.
20:52 | 07/08/18

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Transcript for Rescue in Thailand: 4 boys pulled from cave
I'm way Johnson in New York welcome to special continuing coverage on ABC news live. Of the rescue and high land we're gonna bring in some of these images as they comment. But as we speak divers are underground in that elaborate cave system the tunnels pulling the boys of the wild Boortz soccer team out of the cable already we can report today. That four boys have been removed and were safely taken to the hospital. But this is a long process it is a treacherous track for each one of these boys to get out of that cave. You're looking at images right now this is that moment when they discover that the boys were alive in those caves earlier this week. Remember it was June 23 when the boys went on this Kate expedition with their soccer coach twelve boys and 125 year old coach. The rains came through flooded the cave and the boys and their coach had to retreat deeper into that cave about three miles when their exit was cut off now we have an international multi agency effort. The best divers from around the world and three in the cave. In what is called a buddy system. Working with the boys they had to train them for a few days to get them ready for this ill arduous journey back out to what safety. Let's go to Eva pilgrim live in London with some new developments Eva we are watching we know that for boys made it out but. There's a bit of all lol in the rescue it's gonna take some time what do you tell us about why that. Well they're saying it's gonna be about ten dead twenty more now worse before they can. Get any more of those boys out and the reason for this and that they need to resupply refill. The oxygen along the route and that's going to take more than ten hours they said but less than twenty hours so they have to wait to get that done in order to be able to. Safely go back in and begin the process of bringing. More of the boys out now we also have learned today that there have been ten of those expert divers. Involved in the process of actually helping to get the boys out justice to get two of them out at a time. And they're putting a diver on either side and then of course there are divers all along the way to help in that processed. And the first one came out about 540 local time the second boy came about 1020 minutes later and then there was about a two hour lol. Before the next two came out so. They're having to space them out just a bit to be able to get into that process but making sure there's enough oxygen for them along the way that is critical. In and getting them out of the cave safely now we do know that a doctor actually examine them. Earlier before they made the decision. To move these boys he determine that they were both physically and mentally fit to make this journey. And that this is something that they could in fact do before they ever began to hit two did make this decision and they talked to the boys' families. About this as well but oh a delay here because they have to make sure that things are in place to keep these way safe wet. And you know I wanna talk a little bit more about the buildup to this decision to go awaited start extracting the boys from this cave because there are few ideas that. Never really worked out there is an idea of cabling in an oxygen line so they can essentially oxygenate. The entire cave system from where the boys were three miles in. Along the way to get out but they said that wasn't feasible but also talked about drilling holes and maybe find some way to get them out through one of the bore holes. Similar to what we saw what the Chilean miners but instead they decided to remove the boys from the exact same way they came. And there was a reason for that may leave the weather in the concern about more rains further flooding in the case of what can you tell us about the decision making process that went into the saying you know what today's the day we're gonna move the boys out. What when they look to the fact that they don't have this infinite infinite and I'm time tech to get these boys out they examined all of the options that. Going from the top digging down drilling down seeing if it. Was stable enough set to be able to. To drill down and then bring the boys that wasn't something that was possible to do and in some of the locations it would have taken an eternity to get to them. Today they looked at their situation they saw that the water levels were the lowest they've been in the entire time they've been examining this process the boys are in good health. And an oxygen is somewhat stable enough for them to be able to do this and keep the boy safe. So they saw the conditions. Of today and said today's the day we must go and and tomorrow before they decide to actually go back after more boys they won't again. Reevaluate the situation. And decide if it is safe to extract more boys from the cave and that's something that they're having to face its monsoon season in Thailand so. They have these periods of intense rain and the water comes up quite quickly in that cave now they have a pump working in their team get the water out. But it's no match against mother nature when their rain is just. Pouring it and that's an interesting thing to point out as well we haven't talked about that this morning. The fact that these boys you whipped into that cave that was the beginning of monsoon season while we are first covering this. The officials in that area said yes it is monsoon season but we never had rain and flooding like this in these caves before and those blaze. Had been in that cave before many of them and this coach had taken his team. Into that cave before this was supposed to be a team building exercise. This wasn't something that they weren't accustomed to this was something that quickly got out of hand and was not what they expect it. Yeah that coaches been seen by some as both I hero and a villain a little bit and all of this some people criticizing his decision to take the boys in there. Some of the boys told us that would they would go in the caves and sometimes not even tell their parents. But at the same time it's important to remember that this coach also kept them alive it was you know likely his decision to retreat deeper in the cave when their exit was cut off. He kept them alive for nine days before anybody else knew that they were down there and he actually wrote a letter. So the parents apologizing. For putting the boys in this situation so that and that's just one incredible story all of this. Eva pilgrims stay with us that we're gonna check back in with you just a bit but I do wanna. Go back to Thailand. Our Adrian baker has been set up live outside the hospital. Where the boys are being taken. We could bring in Adrian shot Adrian we know that four boys were removed from the cave take in the hospital what can you tell us about their conditions. But we know that all four boys where are healthy the four boys. Well rights here by ambulance we saw four with flashing lights police and military escorts. A come through this a police barricade right behind as you look fine as you can see a green on it it's not really nodding it's actually piece of green fabric. Wrapped around the entrance to the hospital initially we were closer to that entrance but a police have moved all journalists. Down this three. Of course respecting the privacy of family members who are ready in sight on the eight more of this fourteen story building. They've reserved that entire floor for all thirteen who were expected to come out of that he. Safely now we get we know that four of them came out and they were in healthy condition but we don't know the conditions of all of the others inside including eight children. And then of course that coach that you mentioned 25 year old coach who was still inside the cage. You mentioned the buddy system to wit we know that two divers. Went side by side with each boy that is come out already and there were a number of things it had to happen to get them here to the hospital they were checked out initially inside that cave at a staging area. Then they were transported. To eight field hospital a field medic there on scene. Given to paramedics inside that ambulance that was taken to a helicopter helicopter flew thirty Chiang Rai. And then that helicopter delivered that boy each one. Boortz in totals to another ambulance that are right here on the scene. The boys will be checked out and have a full medical evaluation here with doctors and nurses standing by they'll be checked for things like their breathing. The oxygen levels of course reduced significantly inside that cave it you were pumping in oxygen out for some time there they were monitoring it because. Again normal oxygen levels around 20/20 1%. Of the caves oxygen levels we're told by our Matt got men were around 17%. And so they did concern themselves with how weakened the boys would be both physically and of course mentally and emotionally quite an ordeal for them. To go through something like this not just with in the cave itself. And not knowing when help would come but also bit complete darkness that they ran for several days. What's divers to find him after the first nineties they were were able to bring in some form of light but overall just being in the start conditions. Doctors we spoke with say. That there is a concern that there mental state and mental capacity would be diminished because you just don't have the same search Canadian rhythms that you don't know Wednesday instantly ignited. Because of that once they come out of course they're gonna be examined for posttraumatic stress disorder that we note that the rest of the children won't even attempting. To come out of the divers will not be going and for another eight or so hours when it is daylight. And that we've heard that it is possible that the children who come out tomorrow might be wearing shades attempt to shield their eyes from the sun because they've seen it so long but. I truly fitting in a sense if you think about it they're all rock stars for having endured so much for so long with. If you can't help but think about the families who've been waiting in agony for days for this very moment. The first nine days not even knowing whether they were alive and yet the families remained hopeful. I remember talking to some of our correspondents out there at the time in the build up and really the international community many people have lost hope but the families in Thailand did not. And seeing those parents sobbing and praying outside of that cave and friends and now fast forward to this monumental. Day. Four of the boys already out alive and in good condition but still. Very treacherous journey ahead Adrian baker outside the hospital we're gonna check back in with you a little bit later on our broadcast I don't wanna go to Matt Gutman whose. Been following all the developments there he's been their for a few days. Out on the C Matt we can see the conditions right now the pouring rain. It's eleven hours here eleven hours ahead of us here on the East Coast so it's nighttime there talk to us about what's happening app this moment. Last update we got just four boys had been removed from the case. That's right for boys and into the amount of activity that's happening behind you right now way. We saw an enormous contingent rescue workers. Cleanup crew of soldiers and police and even kitchen staff leave and now seems like there's been a changing of the guard. Troop carriers. Police like that band behind us and ambulances have moved back in towards McCain now. We have been told by authorities here that being Kanter start to extract additional. Of those boys in the next probably eight to. Fifteen hours from now that is going to be very complicated maneuver this raid has been ranks of the past hour and a half all of our kit is way. Everything is soaking in the concern is that. It's pretty much the third be rain that we've seen here over the past 24 hours and that that is going to increase the water level indicate that one of the things. That we believe we don't know for certain but were things that we believe that made there extraction so easy today remember the authorities here said that they got them out. We'll work to five times faster than they expected me. They told us that the first it would start coming out literally right now and were hours after that so it's been impressive maneuver but the reason for that. Is it the water level McCain had subsided and the kid's going to be made some good progress through. And their health didn't seem to hampering so the others concerned that they have to stop them along the way each chambers give the medical exams take a breather and then. Push on. That doesn't seem to have been the case but if it's rain continues that's really bad news that means those pumps at the work. Even harder. And that what what they do when they pump so hard as they also suck out some of the oxygen which makes. The breeding more typical in the caves they'll still very tricky operation left to do here even though those four boys are out. Still have those eight other kids still in their including the coach. There just waiting for the return to come through so. It is going to be a very long two hours what had one thing which we spent a budget time indicate about an hour similar to this structure of that one news. Court to dole of aidid's side and it was incredible because you saw home narrow those passages are we turn off the light. You get completely claustrophobic also their jagged edges everywhere if you're not paying absolutely close attention. You could really harm yourself and so as these buddy divers take these. Kate's out of that cave. They're trying to treat him with kid gloves which could also slow the pace down again so far everybody's ecstatic with the pace. This stuff. Not so much went and that you've mentioned one of the talk about went out to the viewers the fact that these boys had been inside this cave before a couple days ago. I you interviewed. Some of the other teammates who played with a wild war and they say that they have been in this cave as well what do they tell you about the pavement. What they would do in sign. Well currently the assistant coach of the wild or soccer team. Used to take the kids up here pretty frequently about a half an hour bike ride from here through these. What picturesque villages in the jungle. To the soccer field where they practice them from that soccer field that they left. That Friday sixty days ago. Still on that day. The boy I spoke to didn't go because he got bit up. Watching the World Cup until late at night. But typically he went four times this year others go more frequently he's been. All the way to the very end of that cave three miles in a couple of times before he said. That refute anything that ever worried about anything because a they were with their teammates and be there with their coach. He's a former Buddhist monk. He was trusted by the parents but something that was disturbing when I heard it for the first time was that. This boy often can tell his mom when he was going on these trips to the cave and apparently there. The head coach told us on camera on record. That he never heard of it either he did know that that's what they actually did is go inside that cage so. Kind of disturbing thing in one of the reasons that local authorities here. At least last week said they would consider charging. This assistant coach with endangering these children if and when they get out again there's been so much of a sense of rallying around the flag here. To which enthusiasm now that these kids are out of the cave or at least some of them are. That I think its campaign. People's desire to see him charged and as you mentioned earlier he has kept these kids alive. For a long time now. Through his meditation through his enthusiasm. And he has apologized to parents so I think people see it both ways in this country. Absolutely it's extraordinary to get back inside what what the boys would view inside the cave and hopefully that come lottery that experience in there we'll help them as they make their way out Matt government forest. An incredibly rainy Thailand right now we're gonna check back in with you later in the day about stay on top of all the developments there thank you. Meantime we want to go back to Jon Cohen former acting undersecretary with the department of homeland security's joining us on the phone right now. John you've been giving us a great sort of peeling back the curtain behind the scenes look at how this international effort plays out. We know that there's a bit of all of a pause here in the rescue as they replanted some of the oxygen. The route the cave what can you tell us about what may be happening right now. Right those who are in command of that rescue operation. They'll be talking to the rescuers that were deployed within the trade with indicate and they'll be asking them what worked what do we need to adjust so every plan and it. X specially a rescue operation as complicated and complex than all the different factors that we been discussing. Over the course of the last several days. You know in their fluid date they have to adjust based on conditions. Throughout going to be tracking. As was pointed out by others the weather very very carefully because they're gonna want to know whether the conditions within the cave. Are going to change. You know is the water level in certain areas. Gonna go up are there going to be other windows of opportunities where they can. Can move kids through those areas. They're going to be looking at their equipment and and other resource needs. So as was also discussed some of the reporting we now know that they were prepositioning equipment. At various stages of decayed and without equipment are probably positioning other personality where as well to provide. An assist those who are actually traveling communicate with the kid. But there to replace the oxygen than Mitch of the lighting that the lighting equipment that there is an order. They're gonna continue working on the communications issue is. Communications radio communication to NK it is very very difficult radio communication from inside indicate to the surface. His even more difficult radio waves. Have a very difficult time going through rock. And fluid. So not only will arise in the water level make it get the radio indium. Rescue more difficult because it can be more difficult for the kids to get. Get through those sections of the case but whatever limited communications capability they have may impact be impacted as well so they're gonna see whether there's more equipment more resource as anything that needs to be adjusted from a resource perspective. At the rescue operation continues. Encouraging news for all ready but still a long ways to ago Jon Cohen former acting undersecretary Department of Homeland Security think so much. We'll check back in with you later on today I do want to go back to Eva pilgrim live in London because you've has been following all of the latest developments on an even as as we wait you talked about replenishing some of the oxygen supplies are we learning anything more about. What rescue crews are doing right now. Will the last that we heard was that that they had to take a break because the supply and oxygen was low and so. You that you let's remember there's it's about ninety people believe it why is fifteen. Four and diverse forty tie divers assets and technical people as well they're helping in this mission. And and those people are all contributing. In the process and just the actual extraction of those boys today took ten diapers so that's how a lot of people. Dedicated to the four boys who were able to get out today. They're still nine people in the cave and they will have to be there for the next several hours at least until they're able to go back in. And at this point it's just a waiting process they have to. Safely get that oxygen refilled and also as you can see with Matt but no rain is coming down it is coming down quite heart. So they will have to reassess the conditions of that cave and they conditions. That these boys will face. Coming out and decide if they are indeed strong enough to make the journey. And that's exactly why they wanted to expedite this mission rain the rising water levels that the increasing levels of oxygen. All pushing them to do this more quickly ahead of schedule so far today Eva pilgrim will check back in with you soon. I do want to mention president Donald Trump is also monitoring all of this as well he tweeted earlier today that the US. Is working very closely with the government of Thailand to help get all of the children out of the cave and a safety. Very brave and talented people. Beret if indeed the world watching everybody with hearts full hoping for the best in this truly incredible story. And amazing rescue mission underway right now in Thailand. We'll continue to follow all of the developments throughout the course of the day here on ABC news live on abcnews.com. And on that ABC news app you can download that also get any breaking alerts and all live coverage straight to your Smartphone in the meantime any new development we'll check back in and bring that to you. I'm where Johnson for special coverage. On ABC news live we'll talk to you sale.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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