Thai authorities are being tight-lipped about who was inside an ambulance seen leaving the site of a flooded cave Monday, as they were the night before when four of the 13 people trapped inside the underground complex were rescued.
The unsafe bid to rescue the boys - aged between 11 and 16 - got going again hours earlier on Monday after a break to replenish oxygen supplies and make other preparations deep inside the cave complex in northern Thailand's Chiang Rai province.
"All conditions are still as good as they were yesterday", Chiang Rai acting Gov. Narongsak Osattanakorn said, as relayed by the AP.
"As of now, eight people have left the cave", an official involved in the rescue operation told Reuters.
The boys are said to be generally in good health but doctors are still evaluating whether they could have picked up any risky infections, such as the potentially lethal leptospirosis, while inside the damp cave for two weeks. "And we will do it faster because we are afraid of the rain".
At least one more boy has been rescued from Thailand's Tham Luang Cave as the harrowing mission to rescue the stranded children and their soccer coach stretched into its second day. Divers escorted the children, who wore equipment to help them breathe.
It's a process that can take several hours.
The first stage of the mission ran "smoothly" and the rescued boys were in "good health", according to the Thai authorities.
The world has been hooked on the fate of the group of Thai boys trapped in a cave and the heroic attempts to rescue them.
Rescue teams worked quickly through now-familiar cavern passageways Tuesday in hopes of bringing out the last members of youth soccer team trapped in a rain-flooded cave. The four unidentified boys were the second batch to be retrieved in as many days by ace rescue divers from a deep and winding cave in the northernmost reaches of Thailand.
Elon Musk offers help in Thailand cave rescue
They eventually found a dry landing spot, where they waited for nine days before being found by two British divers. Eight boys and the coach remain trapped, and experts are hoping to free the rest of the boys today.
The rescued boys were being treated by medics at the field hospital, and were later airlifted to a larger nearby hospital.
It took nine hours Sunday to rescue the first two boys, who were described as the weakest of the group.
Thai soldiers walk out from the Tham Luang cave area as operations continue for the 8 boys and their coach trapped at the cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province on July 9, 2018.
Doctors expect the boys to be in the hospital for about seven days, although they could be out sooner if their bloodwork comes back negative for abnormalities.
Even their mothers and fathers have been unable to visit them.
The search-and-rescue operation has riveted people both in Thailand and internationally, with journalists from across the globe traveling to this town along the border with Myanmar to report on the ordeal.
He said the boys rescued Sunday are strong and safe but need to undergo detailed medical checks.
He said that water level in the cave continued to recede, facilitating the rescue operations five hours early on Monday.
Rescuers had planned to take a 10- to 20-hour pause in the rescue efforts to replenish the cave with oxygen and give the team of 18 divers leading the boys on the hard journey a chance to rest.
"On behalf of the United States, congratulations to the Thai Navy SEALs and all on the successful rescue of the 12 boys and their coach from the treacherous cave in Thailand".