Earlier Monday, Narongsak said the four rescued the day before were in good spirits.
Rescue operations chief Narongsak Osottanakorn described Sunday's initial rescue bid as "D-Day" when it was launched, and there were fears that any one of many potential pitfalls could prove deadly. The official declined to be identified as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
The rescue started at 10 am Thai time and involved 13 global divers and five Thai navy seals, who were described by Governor Narongsak as "an all-star team", reports the Daily Mail.
Thais have been fixated on the crisis, hoping desperately for the safe return of the 12 boys and their 25-year-old football coach, after they ventured into the Tham Luang cave complex after practice and became trapped by rising waters more than a fortnight ago.
British divers found the 13, huddled on a muddy bank in a partly flooded chamber several kilometres inside the complex, on Monday last week.
He said the operation is going better than expected, and that the team would need about 10 hours to prepare for the next stage.
The second extraction attempt involves a larger team of Thai and foreign divers, some of whom took the places of divers who were exhausted after Sunday's extraction, he said.
"If we wait and the rain comes in the next few days we will be exhausted again from pumping and our readiness would drop".
Every time an ambulance goes by or a helicopter roars overhead, it's a sign that a rescue is underway and another team member is en route to the Chiang Rai hospital.
The unsafe underwater rescues - considered a last resort - involve two divers accompanying each of the boys, none of whom had experience diving before they were found on July 2.
Four football boys are expected to be freed in the second rescue.
4 boys were brought out safely from the cave, but the mission was paused to replace the air tanks.
Osatanakorn said a 1.6km-long passage from the cave entrance to the third chamber, a staging ground for the mission, was "mostly walkable", adding: "Although there are some slightly hard parts [where] we have to bend or crawl, we can say that we can just walk through it". There was no word on the condition of any of the people brought out on Monday.
The search and rescue operation has riveted people both in Thailand and internationally, with journalists from across the globe travelling to this town along the border with Myanmar to report on the ordeal.
The fate of the boys and their coach has gripped Thailand and drawn attention from around the world.
After the four boys were removed from the cave, heavy rain started falling.
"The four children are well at Chiang Rai Prachanukroh hospital".
Somboon Sompiangjai, 38, the father of one of the trapped boys, said parents were told by rescuers ahead of Sunday's operation the "strongest children" would be brought out first. Tracy also noted that the glimpse we've seen of the trapped boys showed they appeared to be in good spirits.
When it was realised that the boys were in the cave system, divers began the process of trying to find them in the enormous area.
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