Thai soccer team improving in hospital days after rescue

The 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach who were trapped in a cave for more than two weeks are improving in the hospital. Meanwhile, there are new details about how the children survived and how rescuers were able to get them to safety.


Wearing hospital masks and gowns, and waving to family members through protective glass, the freed Thai soccer players were finally able to have a reunion, of sorts.

After almost three weeks trapped in the dark, away from their loved ones in a cave in northern Thailand, the boys, aged between 11 and 16, were allowed to see their relatives in a carefully controlled environment, as doctors are still concerned about their health.

In video shown at a press briefing, some of the parents were in tears as they looked through the glass. The family members were not allowed to enter the room where they are being treated, in order to avoid infection, Dr Chaiyawej Thanapaisarn said.

The doctor said three of the boys were being treated for minor cases of pneumonia, but predicted most would be discharged after about a week.

Speaking earlier Wednesday, health ministry inspector Tongchai Lertvirairatanapong said the boys were in "good condition," despite each losing an average of two kilograms (4.4 pounds) in weight during their time in the cave.

He attributed their relative good health to their coach, 25-year-old Ekkapol Ake Chantawong, a former monk who was the last person out. "I have to praise the coach who took care of the footballers very well," Lertvirairatanapong said.

Officials said the children hadn't eaten any food in the nine days before they were found, and drank murky water from inside the cave, which saved them. On Tuesday authorities said some of the boys had asked to eat bread with chocolate spread, but mostly they'll be given a food similar to milk which is rich in proteins and nutrients.

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