The rescue mission aiming to bring out the remaining members of a Thai youth football team, who have been stuck inside a flooded cave for two weeks, has entered its second day.
A team of divers are reportedly planning on bringing out four of the eight remaining children on Monday evening local time, while the strongest boys and their coach will have to wait until later this week.
Parents waiting at the entrance, many of whom have been holding 24-hour vigils despite the overnight rains, say they are still not being told 'anything' about which four boys are about to emerge from the cave - or even who is already out.
Earlier today, divers started placing new oxygen tanks along the way out of the underground network as part of preparations to repeat the mission which saw four boys rescued yesterday.
It is thought the divers have now gone back inside the cave to work their way towards the remaining children and their 25-year-old coach, but there has been no official confirmation as of yet.
Four out: The four children The starved and exhausted players were carried on stretchers from an ambulance to a helicopter near the caves before being flown to hospital
Saved: Prajak Sutham (Top), 14, is also known as Note, and is known as a 'quiet but sport-loving boy'. Bottem: Pipat Bodhi, 15
The first boy out was Monhkhol Boonpiam (top), 13, known as Mark. Eight other young players and their 25-year-old coach of the Wild Boars football team were chosen to remain in the cavern – half a mile deep – until tomorrow. bottem: Nattawut 'Tle' Takamsai, 11, was among those rescued
The same 12 divers will conduct today's operation because they know the tunnels and how to carry out the rescue.
'We've been working continuously overnight,' a Chiang Rai government source told AFP on Monday morning, requesting anonymity, and confirming that there had only been a pause of the actual extraction operations.
However, by noon on Monday (6am UK time)
authorities had given few other others details about the latest
developments in the rescue mission.
With so few details released, parents continued their agonising wait to be reunited with their sons.
'I am still waiting here at the cave, keeping my fingers crossed to see whether my son will be one of those to come out today,' Supaluk Sompiengjai, mother of Pheeraphat - known by his nickname 'Night' - told AFP.
'We heard four boys are out but we do not know who they are. Many parents are still here waiting. None of us has been informed of anything.' But she added she was 'happy' at the prospect of seeing her son again.
A soldier blocks a road leading to Tham Luang cave complex, where schoolboys are trapped in a flooded cave, in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand
Soldiers walk out from the Tham Luang cave area as operations continue for the eight boys and their coach trapped at the cave
Thai police officers and soldiers secure the area as ambulances drive in for standby during the rescue operation to evacuate 12 boys
Police helmets are seen during the rescue operation. Four of the boys were rescued on Sunday night
'masterpiece' three-and-a-half-hour mission, led by expert British
divers, saw four children being calmly guided to safety after 15 days of
being stuck in their fetid underground prison.
Wearing full-face masks, the youngsters swam – for the first time in their lives – through miles of mud-clogged underwater tunnels which claimed the life of an elite Thai navy diver on Friday.
On finally emerging blinking into the daylight, the boys were hugged by their British rescuers. They were tearfully reunited with their weeping parents – who have kept a desperate two-week vigil at the cave entrance – before being taken to hospital.
Speaking in Bangkok, Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda said the four pulled from the cave 'are strong and safe' and in the care of doctors.
The first boy out was Monhkhol Boonpiam, 13, known as Mark. The second boy was Prajak Sutham, known as Note.
Number three was Nattawoot Thakamsai, a 14-year-old asthma sufferer whose parents have already lost a baby daughter to cancer.
Lastly came Pipat Bodhu, 15, aka Nick, who was not even in the team but came along as a friend of the goalkeeper.
Eight other young players and their 25-year-old coach of the Wild Boars football team were chosen to remain in the cavern – half a mile deep – until tomorrow.
Commanders paused the mission overnight to replenish oxygen supplies and give the rescuers a break. But they remain 'at war with water and time' as torrential monsoon downpours deluged the Tham Luang cave, in the hilly jungle of northern Thailand, and threatened to flood it even further.
A Thai rescuer attends to oxygen tanks at the mouth of the cave. Divers were busy placing new ones in the cave on Monday
Policeman line up on the main road leading to Tham Luang Nang Non cave as preparations continue to rescue the trapped boys
Ambulances have been seen driving away from the cave complex and heading for hospital 35 miles away. The most seriously ill were flown in a military helicopter
Thai doctors and nurses are on standby for the arrival of children after being rescued from Tham Luang cave, at the hospital in Chiang Rai province
Images from Thai TV show the boys were being brought out on stretchers to a waiting helicopter after being helped out of the water with two divers per child
The young boys had been in the cave system for more than 15 days at the time of rescue - while eight will remain for another evening
They said a combination of the weakest and the strongest boys had been selected to attempt yesterday's perilous operation.
The children, who have spent more than two weeks more or less in complete darkness will receive individual counselling with a psychiatrist as they return to life above ground, a teacher at Mae Sai Prasitsart school where several of the boys study said.
He added that they will be let off their upcoming exams next week.
'They will not have to follow the normal schedules,' Thongyaud Kejorn said at a press conference on Monday morning.
Four boys trapped in Thai cave were treated in the back of an ambulance as it drove them towards awaiting helicopters
An ambulance arrives at Chiang Rai Prachanukroh hospital, located 35 miles from the cave system. It's not known how many kids are at the hospital so far
Another ambulance is seen arriving at the hospital where 35 emergency doctors are on standby waiting on the kids' arrival
US billionaire space engineer Elon Musk has been working on a submarine that can contain and transport a human (pictured above in the US). It is unlikely to be delivered to the cave rescue in time but may be used in similar rescuers in the future
These images are grabs from a video shared on Twitter by Musk showing the submarine being tested with a man inside
Yesterday, the Thai king led tributes to rescuers and the schoolboys as scenes of joyful weeping nationwide were shown on television. US President Donald Trump offered his congratulations.
Note's aunt told the Daily Mail he was a strong, caring, intelligent boy who dreamed of becoming a professional footballer, adding that he would be so excited by an offer from football chiefs to the World Cup final in Moscow that 'he would punch the air'.
The mother of Mark, the first boy out, has always kept the faith. Namhom Boonpiam staunchly declared: 'I believe he will survive.' However, even after their ordeal is over, the children could still suffer post traumatic stress disorder, experts have warned.
Their experience is expected to lead to nightmares, sleep problems, stomach and headaches and clinginess with parents, as well as getting angry and upset more easily.
Dr Andrea Dese, head of the stress and development lab at Kings College London's Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, said: 'In the longer term, most children will recover from the initial emotional symptoms.
A sizeable minority, 10 to 30 per cent, will however experience enduring mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety disorders and PTSD.'
Outside the cave entrance, there was still torment for the families of the boys left behind 'until tomorrow or the next day'.
An ambulance headed to the Tham Luang caves to collect the first two boys who were alive and well after being rescued
Paramedics drove the boys to awaiting helicopters which flew 35 miles to the nearest hospital where doctors were on standby
Thai military personnel inside a cave complex during the ongoing rescue operations for the youth soccer team and their assistant coach, at Tham Luang cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park
Thousands of rescuers including Thai Navy SEALs and elite British divers have been working around the clock to come up with a plan to bring the exhausted and starved boys home safely
Over several tense hours, seven crack British cave divers hailed as the masters of their profession escorted the four schoolchildren through narrow, jagged tunnels.
With them were five other international divers and five Thai navy SEALS, and more than 70 other divers in support roles, 50 of whom were foreigners. The commander of yesterday's operation, regional governor Narongsak Osatanakorn said as the operation commenced: 'Today we are most ready. Today is D-Day.' Fearing further flooding, he said the children, aged 11 to 16, might be stuck until January if they ignored yesterday's chance.
He added: 'Today we reached peak readiness – in terms of kids' health, water and our rescue readiness. It has been our masterpiece work.'
Yesterday's operation proceeded faster than expected thanks to the success of a pumping operation which has drained 190million litres from the cave network, making some parts walkable.
Coming home: The evacuation of
12 schoolboys trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand has begun and they
could be out by tonight, the rescue commander announced on Sunday
Mr Osatanakorn said a one-mile passage from the cave entrance to the third chamber, a staging ground for the mission, was 'mostly walkable', adding: 'Although there are some slightly difficult parts [where] we have to bend or crawl, we can say that we can just walk through it. We will have to do the next mission as successfully as the one we did today.'
The third teenager rescued from the cave was said to need immediate medical attention, and instead of being taken by ambulance he was airlifted to hospital straight from the cave mouth.
The less seriously ill boys went by road, with parts of the 45-mile route lined by traffic policemen.
Last night, the Thai navy SEALS posted a message to their Facebook page which said: 'Have a good dream tonight. Night. Hooyah.'
Fresh oxygen canisters are being delivered to the mouth of the cave as oxygen levels in the depths of the cave are scarce