Death of one of the young Thai survivors of a cave in 2018

A 17-year-old Thai man who was among 12 children stranded in a cave in Thailand for nine days in 2018 has died in the UK after being hospitalized, the UK school where he attended confirmed on Wednesday.

Duangpetch Promthep, 17, had become famous in Thailand because he was the captain of the young football team “Wild Boars” which had been stuck, from June 23, 2018 and for some until July 10, in one of the largest caves in Thailand.

He had been studying since last year at Brooke House College Football Academy, near Leicester in central England. “A dream come true,” he wrote in August on Instagram.

The school is “devastated by the confirmation of the death of our student Duangpetch Promthep, known as ‘Dom’, yesterday at the hospital,” school principal Ian Smith said in a statement.

“We are united in pain with all of Dom’s family, friends, former teammates and those who have been involved throughout his life,” he added.

In 2018, the fate of Duangpetch Promthep, his 11 teammates and his coach moved the world. Stuck in the cave, they had eaten nothing and drank just rainwater for nine days.

They had finally been discovered by British divers four kilometers from the entrance, trapped in the waters suddenly rising due to the monsoon rains.

The image of Duangpetch Promthep’s smiling face at the time of the rescue had gone around the world.

Found unconscious

The British police did not explain the causes of the death of the teenager but specified in a press release to AFP that they were called at the beginning of the afternoon on Sunday “concerning the state of health of a pupil” .

The teenager “was taken to the hospital. He has since died,” police added, emphasizing that the death “is not being treated as suspicious.”

According to some Thai media, the boy suffered a head injury.

A Thai association, Zico Foundation, which had granted him his scholarship in England, expressed its condolences on Facebook, as did one of his former teammates who had also been rescued in the cave.

In a press conference, the association’s president, footballer Kiatisuk “Zico” Senamuang, said Wednesday that a “teacher found him unconscious in his room”.

“He had received a three-year scholarship from our foundation. He was our first scholarship student and we know he was happy there,” he added.

“We want to bring his remains home, and our family doesn’t have much money,” the teenager’s mother, Thanaporn Duangthep, said during the press conference.

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