BANGKOK/CHIANG RAI: The third phase of an operation to rescue four remaining boys and their soccer coach trapped inside a flooded Thai cave began on Tuesday morning, the head of the rescue mission said.
Narongsak Osottanakorn told a news conference the latest rescue operation began at about 10:08 a.m. local time (0308 GMT).
"All five will be brought out at the same time today," he said, to cheers from reporters and rescue workers.
Rescue organisers said they needed 20 hours to replan and replenish oxygen supplies, with the next rescue mission expected to come some time on Tuesday afternoon.
- Four more boys rescued from Thailand's Tham Luang cave
- Now 8 people have been rescued, while 5 remain in the cave
- The remaining five will be brought out at the same time today
The plight of the boys and their coach has drawn international attention, with divers, engineers and medics among others flying in from around the world to assist.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha visited the cave to inspect the operation and was quoted by Narongsak as saying he didn't want to see this kind of incident happen again on Thai soil.
The "Wild Boars" team became trapped on June 23 when they set out to explore the cave after soccer practice and rains flooded the tunnels.