‘I just heard his name’: mother at Thai cave site awaits news of son

Authorities yet to confirm names of four sons to be freed after rescue operation begins

The mother of one of the sons reportedly freed in the northern Thailand cave rescue has said she is sleeping at the cave site as she waits for confirmation her son was among the first four children to make it out.

Four boys were freed from the cave in an eight-hour operation on Sunday after expending more than two weeks stranded by water on high ground about two miles( 3.2 km) inside. They are recovering in hospital in the nearby city of Chiang Rai.

Authorities have not named the boys who had beenrescued- not even to the parent education the group, said Namhom Boonpiam, the mother of Mongkhol Boonpiam.

Mongkhol Boonpiam, 14, is among the 12 boys trapped in the cave. Photograph: Thai Rath

Mongkhol, 14, has been named by Thai media as one of the boys who was freed on Sunday. Namhom said she had only learned he may have been freed from reports on social media, which the families are tracking from the cave site.

” I just heard his name, Mongkhol, and I was happy enough ,” she told the Guardian.

She was sleeping at the cave site on Sunday night with many of the other parents and had not yet was just thinking about what she would say once she saw him.” Let me meet him first ,” she said.

It is understood the four boys were given preliminary health checks and rushed into ambulances to get them to hospital as soon as is practicable after they were freed.

Mongkhol, known as Mark, is a trainee in the Wild Boars football squad. Thailand’s sports daily Siamsport reported that he had been playing football since he was in kindergarten and loves the sport so much that he almost always wears a football shirt.

His favourite team is Muangthong United, a resulting team in the Thai Premier League. He also enjoys swimming and cycling.” I believe he will survive ,” his mother told Siamsport.

The rescue operation began suddenly at 10 am on Sunday, nearly one week after the sons were discovered sheltering on a muddied slope inside the cave.

Narongsak Osatanakorn, head of the joint command centre coordinating the rescue, said conditions were “perfect” in the interests of sons’ physical and mental health, water levels inside the cave and readiness of rescue teams.” Today is D-Day ,” he said.

He had predicted no son would emerge before 9pm at the earliest, but about three hours earlier than that journalists posted outside the cave site began reporting the movement of ambulances and aircraft.

Soon after, divers and Thai navy officials at the site began confirming that two sons had been released- and then, hours later, potentially more.

Thai cave rescue

At 9pm, Osatanakorn called a second press conference and corroborated four boys had been freed.

He said the operation had proceeded faster than expected.” It has been our masterpiece run ,” he said.

The first boy, reported to be Mongkhol, emerged from the cave at 5.40 pm local time, followed by a second 10 to 12 minutes later, he said.” After that, a third and fourth at 7.40 pm and 7.50 pm .”

Ninety divers were involved in Sunday’s operation, 50 foreigners and 40 Thais.

The remaining eight boys and their 25 -year-old coach were expected to be brought out in further operations starting in the morning.

” Our undertaking is not wholly done ,” Osatanakorn said.” We will have to do the next mission as successfully as the one we did today. The rest of the kids are in the same place .”

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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