Funeral for Thai teen rescued from flooded cave held without his body
CHIANG RAI – The funeral for Duangpetch Promthep – one of the 12 boys rescued in 2018 from the flooded Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai, Thailand – was held on Thursday night without his body.
Better known as Dom, the 17-year-old died in England on Tuesday, after collapsing in his dormitory room on Sunday. The former captain of a junior football team in Thailand had been studying at Brooke House College, a football academy about 150km north of London, on a scholarship since last September.
His body is still in England, but a funeral was held to lead his soul back to his home town in Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district, said Phra Kru Prayut Chetiyanukarn, the abbot who performed funeral rites using Dom’s photos, clothes and shoes.
“I believe that Duangpetch’s soul has returned to his home town to meet his parents and friends who gathered to make merit for him,” the abbot said.
Dom’s parents, relatives, and members of the Wild Boar football team attended the funeral.
The Royal Thai Embassy in London said Dom was taken to a hospital’s intensive care unit after losing consciousness in his dormitory room on Sunday.
“On Tuesday morning, Duangpetch remained in critical condition before he died at 1.43pm (local time),” the embassy said, adding that its staff are working with the hospital, Brooke House College and Thailand’s non-profit Zico Foundation, which secured the scholarship for Dom, to return his body to Thailand.
Along with his coach and football teammates, who were then aged 11 to 16, Dom was stranded in Tham Luang cave for 18 days in June 2018.
They were exploring the cave after a training session, but found themselves trapped inside after monsoon rain rapidly filled the cave with water, blocking their way out.
Military personnel, police officers, diving experts and volunteers from all over the world came together to help with the round-the-clock rescue efforts.
The boys and the coach were rescued in three groups in July. They were fitted with full-face breathing masks and sedated before being pulled to safety underwater.
Thai Navy Seal diver Saman Gunan died during the operation. He was the only fatality in the ordeal. THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK
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