The third phase of the high-risk rescue operation for the boys and their coach trapped in a cave in Thailand played out quickly on Tuesday, July 10. Hours after Thai officials confirmed that 19 divers had entered the cave complex in Chiang Rai province to extract the remaining four children and their assistant coach, several of them were brought out on stretchers, CBS News reports.
Four boys were rescued Sunday and an additional four emerged on Monday.
The boys, ages 11-16, and their 25-year-old assistant coach became stranded when they went exploring inside after a practice game. Monsoon flooding blocked their escape and prevented rescuers from finding them for almost 10 days.
Thai Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha said Tuesday that the members of the football team rescued from a cave in Thailand had been given anti-anxiety medication before they were brought out.
There had been speculation that the boys could be tranquilized during their treacherous journeys out of the cave. As none one of them had any diving experience and most couldn't swim, officials feared they could panic.
Speaking after a weekly Cabinet meeting in Bangkok, the prime minister denied that the young football players were tranquilized before being rescued, but he did say that they were given an anxiolytic to relieve anxiety.
"Who would chloroform them? If they're chloroformed, how could they come out? It's called anxiolytic something to make them not excited, not stressed," the prime minister said.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday congratulated rescuers who saved a Thai football team that had been trapped in a cave amid rising floodwaters.
"On behalf of the United States, congratulations to the Thai Navy SEALs and all on the successful rescue of the 12 boys and their coach from the treacherous cave in Thailand," Mr. Trump tweeted.
"Such a beautiful moment - all freed, great job!"