Thai cave rescue: U.S. film crew on the case

Thailand football team won't attend World Cup final

Thailand cave rescue: First pics of boys in hospital

Meanwhile divers involved in the rescue operation have broken their silence on how the team managed to extract the boys and their coach from the cave where they had been stuck for more than two weeks.

Some of the boys rescued from a Thai cave seen in hospital in Chiang Rai.

Their plight and the massive, risky three-day-long operation to free them gripped the world's attention.

Narongsak said worldwide rescuers led the final phase of the unsafe mission.

Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that the children were sedated and placed on stretchers to prevent them from panicking during the rescue mission from the Tham Luang cave complex.

"Some of them were asleep, some of them were wiggling their fingers. My job was to transfer them along".

The water pumps failed, and commander Chaiyananta Peeranarong heard shouts of alarm as the final stage of an unprecedented operation to rescue 12 Thai boys and their coach from a flooded cave nearly tipped into disaster.

Doctors, divers and other rescuers were posted along the twisting corridors monitoring the boys as they were passed through using a system of ropes, pulleys and rubber piping.

But he had denied they were knocked out for an operation the chief of the rescue had dubbed "mission impossible". Former Thai Navy SEAL Saman Gunan died last Friday while putting extra air tanks along the escape path.

Then, with the final divers slowly exiting the cave on Tuesday, the pumps suddenly failed pushing the water level up towards head height in a previously wadeable section of the cave.

They were brought to the surface by a daisy chain of divers who guided them through 4km of narrow, murky water-filled passages.

In a nationally televised address, Prayuth said that the government's efforts, the assistance of people in Thailand and overseas, and the outpouring of moral support made the mission a success.

The boys and their coach remain quarantined at Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital in northern Chiang Rai province, while they recover from a variety of minor ailments, Thai officials said at a news conference Wednesday.

The world held its breath over the three days it took to retrieve the Wild Boars.

The exact mechanics of the rescue bid were closely guarded during the operation, but details have since dribbled out.

The Thai football team rescued from a cave after 17 days underground will not attend the World Cup final due to medical reasons, FIFA has confirmed.

"The situation went beyond just being a rescue mission and became a symbol of unity among mankind", he said.

Rescuers had weighed up several options to save the boys, including keeping them in the cave through the months-long monsoon season. That ultimately proved not to be an option when oxygen levels within the tunnels dropped to risky levels.

Thailand's Navy, whose SEAL unit led the rescue, and the Thai government have selected Ivanhoe Pictures to develop a film that would be directed by John M. Chu, the president of Ivanhoe Pictures, John Penotti, said in a statement.

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