A Thai teenager who was part of the football team rescued from a cave in 2018 has died in the UK.
Duangpetch Promthep, known as Dom, was 17 and studying at the Brooke House College Football Academy in Leicester.
The exact cause of death is still unknown, however early reports from the UK say the young man had suffered a head injury.
Promthep was the captain of the Wild Boars team that became trapped in the Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai province, along with their coach.
The 13-year-old was among the 12 boys rescued after an intense two-week search and rescue mission, which involved numerous divers from both Thailand and overseas.
Promthep had enrolled in the British football academy after the Zico Foundation, a Thai non-profit organisation, helped him secure a scholarship to study in England.
News of his passing has prompted an outpouring of grief in his hometown and on social media, with the temple where the team used to visit paying tribute to the teenager.
The Zico Foundation has also expressed its condolences on Facebook.
Some of those who were rescued from the cave with Dom in 2018 posted their condolences as the sad news made its way around the world.
“You told me to wait and see you play for the national team, I always believe that you would do it,” wrote Prachak Sutham.
“When we met the last time before you left for England, I even jokingly told you that when you come back, I would have to ask for your autograph. Sleep well, my dear friend. We will always have 13 of us together.”
Another of the rescued boys, Titan Chanin Viboonrungruang, described Dom as his “brother” and hoped to play football again with him “in the next world”.
“Brother, you told me that we would be achieving our football dream,” he said.
“You are one of the persons that pushes me and makes me wanting to improve myself to your level. If the next world is real, I want us to play football together again, my brother Dom.”
His death is currently under investigation, with the football academy where he studied also issuing a statement expressing its shock and sadness at the news.
The Thai cave rescue was a dramatic international news story that captured hearts and minds across the globe.
It began on June 23, when 12 boys from a local soccer team, along with their coach, became trapped in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in northern Thailand. The boys, aged 11 to 16, had gone into the cave as part of an after-school excursion, but heavy rain caused the cave to flood, blocking their exit.
For the next nine days, rescue teams from around the world worked tirelessly to locate and rescue the trapped boys. The search involved a complex network of tunnels and tight passages, and the teams had to navigate through treacherous waters and pitch-black darkness.
The search was made all the more difficult by the fact that the cave was located in a remote, mountainous region with limited infrastructure and communication technology.
As the days went by, the world watched and waited anxiously for news of the boys‘ rescue. The story captured the globe’s attention and dominated headlines in newspapers and on television news broadcasts around the world. People followed the story closely on social media, with the hashtag #ThaiCaveRescue trending on Twitter.
Finally, on July 2, after more than a week of uncertainty, a team of British divers located the boys deep within the cave. The boys were found huddled together on a small, muddy ledge, more than two miles from the cave entrance. The rescuers immediately set to work devising a plan to extract the boys from the cave.
Over the next three days, a team of more than 1,000 rescuers from around the world worked to bring the boys out of the cave. The rescue involved a perilous journey through narrow, water-filled passages and involved the use of scuba gear and stretchers.
Ultimately, all 12 boys and their coach were successfully rescued, with the final group emerging from the cave on July 10.
Story Credit: news.com.au