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Report Suggests Health Waning for Some of Boys in Cave

CNN references a new medical assessment
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2018 10:45 AM CDT
In this July 3, 2018, photo, the boys smile as a Thai Navy SEAL medic helps injured children inside a cave in northern Thailand.   (Royal Thai Navy Facebook page via AP, File)
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(Newser) – Reports on the 12 boys trapped in a cave in Thailand along with their soccer coach have generally quoted officials as describing the group as in good health. CNN is changing that narrative somewhat, referencing a new doctor's report that described the coach and two boys as experiencing exhaustion from malnutrition and quoting an unnamed Thai Navy SEALs member who says that based on the group's health, no extraction effort will be made on Thursday. And the timeline may be tight, with CNN reporting the area is expected to be dry until Saturday, at which point the chance of rain—and rising cave waters—spikes. It notes that the current round-trip time for the divers who have reached the boys is 11 hours.

But the Guardian reports hundreds of industrial pumps continue to suck water from the cave system in hopes of draining the levels to the point where the group can don life vests and cover the 2.5-mile distance out largely on foot. A rescue official says they're currently focusing on draining the third chamber to waist height; of the remaining chambers, which measure about 1.5 miles, a diver at the scene speculates about half would be walkable, with the water reaching a maximum depth of about 20 feet. Gizmodo reports the "herculean efforts" at the site have seen 34 million gallons of water pumped out, at a current rate of about 0.6 inches per hour. (Read more Thailand stories.)

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