BANGKOK – The first images showing of members of the Thai youth soccer team who were trapped in a cave in northern Thailand being treated in hospital were released by the government on Wednesday.
Still images and video show the boys, aged between 11 and 16, waving from their hospital beds in a closed off ward in the Chang Rai hospital, where they were taken to be placed under observation following a dramatic rescue effort to extract them from a cave network with their coach for two weeks after the passageway was blocked off by rainwater.
Medical staff were keeping the survivors in quarantine while checks were carried out on their immune systems.
The 12 youth players and their coach, 26, were the focus of a massive rescue operation at the Tham Luang cave in the north of Thailand that garnered huge international media coverage.
Members of the Thai Navy and foreign diving experts brought the boys out of the flooded caverns over a period of three days, bringing an end to their ordeal, which began on June 23 when they became trapped on an embankment 4 kilometers (2.4 miles) inside the cave network after flooding blocked the exit.
They were located nine days after they went missing.