Thai cave rescued soccer captain dies in UK

BANGKOK, 16 Feb 2023:

Duangpetch Promthep, one of the 12 members of a boys’ soccer team rescued from a cave in Thailand in 2018, has died in the UK at the age of 17, the NGO that awarded him a scholarship to study in England said yesterday.

“The Zico foundation would like to express its condolences for the passing of Dom Duangpetch Phromthep,” the NGO said on its Facebook page.

At a press conference that was streamed on Facebook, Kiatisak ‘Zico’ Senamueang, a coach at the foundation, said Dom had been found unconscious in his dorm on Sunday.

He was then brought to hospital, where he died on Tuesday.

Dom had been studying at the Brooke House College Football Academy in Leicester since the end of last year on a scholarship from the Zico Foundation.

Supatpong Methigo, a monk at the Wat Doi Wao temple in Chiang Rai, Promthep’s hometown in Thailand, said on Facebook that Dom’s grandmother informed the monastic community, where he had studied as a child, of his death yesterday.

The monk added that, according to the boy’s grandmother, Dom died as a result of an accident of which she gave no further details and said that the cause of death “is not clear.”

Dom was 13 years old when, on 23 June 2018, he and his teammates – all aged between 11 and 16, and their 26-year-old coach – visited a cave in Chiang Rai province after a training session.

A sudden, heavy burst of rain meant they became trapped inside the cave which rapidly flooded. They were located nine days later, 4km from the cave entrance.

They were all rescued during a massive international rescue operation through the partially flooded galleries of the cave, which ended after 17 days.

Since the rescue, the cave has become a tourist attraction with between 1,000 and 3,000 visitors a day.

The dramatic rescue was made into a film The Cave and last year streaming platform Netflix released a six-episode miniseries on the dramatic event.