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thailand cave rescue

These diagrams show you exactly how challenging it is to rescue the Thai soccer team

At least eight young soccer players have been saved from a cave in Thailand in a rescue operation that can only be described as harrowing. The team of 12, plus their 25-year-old coach, got stuck 16 days ago when flooding pinned them on a ledge two-and-a-half miles from the Tham Luang Nang Non cave entrance. With oxygen levels plunging dangerously low inside the cave, expert divers have put their own lives at risk to make the 11-hour roundtrip journey to extract the boys from the cave in a race against the continuing monsoon rains. Here's a look at just how difficult it is to save the boys. Jeva Lange

The boys are deep within a flooded cave.

Officials determined that diving was the best option for getting the boys out.

The boys use ropes on the walls to guide them through the muddy water. The divers hold their oxygen tanks.

The boys and divers must pass through a narrow passage called "the T-junction," which is one of the most complex parts of the journey.

The boys are extracted in a "relay" of divers.