It took three days, but rescue workers have now pulled all 12 boys from a youth soccer team and their coach out of a flooded cave in northern Thailand.
Officials said late Sunday they'd need to pause the operation for at least 10 hours to fill oxygen tanks that had been depleted during the first phase of the rescue mission.
"I'm hoping for good news".
But he could not confirm if all five would come out today. Those conditions won't last if the rain resumes, he said.
The eight freed boys of the Thai soccer team may have seen daylight for the first time in weeks, but they still can not come face-to-face with their loved ones.
A video published by the Thai PBS channel on Monday also showed a person on a stretcher - most likely the fifth boy - being transferred to a helicopter.
Authorities then struggled to determine the best way to save the "Wild Boars", with the group stuck on a shelf above the floodwaters in pitch darkness. The team and coach were exploring the cave after a practice game when heavy rainfall and flooding cut off their escape route out of the cave and prevented rescuers from finding them for nine days.
The soccer team had been trapped in the underground cave network since June 23, with flash floods causing water levels to rise, making it hard to get out.
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There the boys can rest before making the last, easier walk out to the entrance.
The boy is part of a group who went into the Tham Luang cave more than two weeks ago. An international-level rescue mission began soon after, with hundreds of experts and military personnel from various countries arriving at the spot.
Each had to wear an oxygen mask to enable normal breathing, authorities said.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha plans to host a thank-you party for all the rescue teams, Mr Narongsak said.
Among those are U.S. military partners, British cave diving experts - including the two men who first located the boys a week ago - and rescue workers from Australia, China and other countries.
Describing it as a "very smooth operation", the Chiang Rai Governor had said the authorities were to make sure that all conditions were stable for the next phase of evacuations.
One boy asked for a fried chicken dinner. The boys have reportedly yet to meet their families, though a senior official told The Guardian that they could be reunited on Monday night. The boys are being quarantined due to the fear of infection.
The Australian foreign minister, Julie Bishop, said in a TV interview on Monday morning she believed the boys would be brought out in groups of four.
The rescued boys are being kept in sterilized isolation units at a nearby hospital, which prohibits physical contact, and their parents have not been told they're safe. "We can't visit our boys in hospital because they need to be monitored for 48 hours", Somboon told Reuters.