First images of the Thai boys who were trapped in a cave for more than two weeks were released on Wednesday, showing the soccer team smiling and waving from their hospital beds.
The video shows the boys wearing masks and looking in relatively good spirits in the hospital rooms. Some sat and made the “peace sign” gesture for the camera.
A health official said the boys lost an average of 4.4 lbs during their ordeal but are generally in good condition and have shown no signs of stress.
The 12 boys and their soccer coach were rescued from a flooded cave in northern Thailand on Tuesday after being trapped deep within the labyrinth for 18 days. The rescue mission was so dangerous, a former member of Thailand‘s navy SEAL unit died during a mission in the cave on Friday.
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The first eight boys were rescued Sunday and Monday and taken to the hospital; their parents have been able to visit them but had to wear protective suits and stand two metres away as a precaution.
One of the boys from the last group rescued Tuesday had a lung infection, a health official said. They were given vaccinations for rabies and tetanus.
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They are now recovering in hospital and are expected to stay there for up to 10 days, hospital director Chaiwetch Thanapaisal told the news conference. They would then need to recuperate at home for 30 days, he said.
The group ventured into the vast cave complex in the northern province of Chiang Rai after soccer practice on June 23 and were trapped when a rainy season downpour flooded tunnels.
They were lost for nine days before they were discovered by British divers on July 2.
— With files from Reuters