Banphot Konkum, the uncle of Duangpetch Promthep, one of the boys rescued from a flooded cave, wipes his eyes as he watches Duangpetch and the rest of the boys live on television recalling their ordeal in the cave at his home in Mae Sai district, Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand, Wednesday, July 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

Thai soccer players rescued from cave meet the media

Members of the Thai youth soccer team who were trapped in a cave have left the hospital where they have been treated since their rescue.

The 12 boys and their soccer coach rescued from a cave in northern Thailand left the hospital where they had been recuperating and appeared at a news conference Wednesday, looking healthy as they answered questions from journalists from around the world.

The group entered the news conference to applause from reporters and classmates and put on a quick demonstration of their ball-handling skills on a miniature soccer field set up in the hall where they met the media.

They then hugged their friends before taking seats up front with doctors and members of the Thai navy SEAL unit who dived to help bring them out, along with others who helped them during their ordeal.

Doctors said the 13 were healthy in body and mind. They said the boys gained around 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds) on average since they were rescued from the cave. They were said to have lost an average of 4 kilograms (9 pounds) during the more than two weeks they were trapped in the cave.

The news conference was the first opportunity the members of the team had to speak directly to the media, though video of them was released previously. Officials reviewed questions in advance to make certain none might cause damaging psychological effects.

Related: Daring rescue saves all 12 boys, soccer coach from Thai cave

Related: Elon Musk apologizes for calling cave rescue diver a ‘pedo’

They were asked about the moment when two British cave divers first found them and also the circumstances of how they entered the cave and got trapped there.

The Wild Boars teammates had entered the Tham Luang cave on June 23 for what was to be a quick, relaxing excursion after soccer practice. But rain began falling while they were underground, and water filled the caverns, cutting off their escape.

The British divers found the group huddling on a spot of dry ground deep inside the cave nearly 10 days later, hungry but generally healthy. An international team of rescuers using diving equipment and pulleys extracted the 12 boys, who range in age from 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach through the tight, flooded passageways over three days, concluding July 10.

Some of the boys were treated for minor infections during their hospital stay, but all 13 have been described as recovering well.

The family of one of the boys was preparing their home for his return Wednesday night.

Banphot Konkum, an uncle who has raised 13-year-old Duangpetch Promthep, said he’ll have a renovated bedroom and gifts awaiting him.

“We’ll do whatever he wants. If he wants anything we’ll buy it for him as a present as we promised that when he gets out, whatever he wants we’ll do it for him,” Banphot said.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Wetaskiwin RCMP check over 2,000 cars this summer

Wetaskiwin RCMP effect numerous arrests and seizures during Enhanced Enforcement shifts

Four African American men rob cell phone store in Leduc

Employee sustains minor injuries say Leduc RCMP

Ermineskin men learning trade through innovative program

Pre-Employment Supports introduces carpentry to eight Maskwacis men

Ponoka man facing almost 100 charges in relation to tip from public

Christian Singer, 32, facing dozens and dozens of charges

Ice cream day at train museum

The Alberta Central Railway Museum offered free ice cream Aug. 5. Photo by Stu Salkeld

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

UPDATED: Cars plunge in Italian highway bridge collapse; 25 killed

Five more people are injured and in serious condition

Court hearing on Humboldt Broncos fundraising to test Saskatchewan law

The money has yet to be distributed because Saskatchewan has legislation known as the Informal Public Appeals Act

Fredericton police release scene of shooting spree, but ‘damage’ remains

Residents of a Fredericton apartment complex may not be able to return home just yet

Bus crash in Ecuador kills 23 people, injures 14

The bus hit another vehicle in an area known as dead man’s curve on Tuesday

Trump and Omarosa spar over claim he used N-word

Manigault Newman continues promoting her White House tell-all and releasing secret audio recordings

Man plows truck into Houses of Parliament in London

UK police treat Parliament crash as terrorism, man arrested

UPDATE: Bruce Redhead has been located

Red Deer RCMP thank the public for their assistance

Gun used in Fredericton killings is legal, man had licence

Police Chief Leanne Fitch said the long gun is commonly available for purchase, and is not a prohibited or restricted weapon

Most Read