A Thai diver died while taking part in operation to save 12 boys and their football coach, who are trapped inside a flooded cave complex in northern Thailand.
The deceased Thai rescuer has been identified as 38-year-old Petty Officer 1st Class Samarn Kunan, Thai daily Khao Sod reported.
Samarn died inside the Tham Luang Nag Non on day 13 of the operation, the report quoted the deputy provincial governor, as saying on Friday morning.
He was delivering oxygen tanks and on the way back he fell unconscious.
Attempts to resuscitate him failed. Samarn’s body was brought out and taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
This comes as the rescue operations are underway for the footballers who were found by British divers on late Monday night, with footage showing them visibly weak and huddled on a mud mound deep inside the cave.
They had been trapped in a flooded Thai cave here for nine days. Aged between 11 and 16 years old, the boys were members of the Wild Boar soccer team.
The rescue operations took a hideous turn as officials acknowledged that the boys are falling short of oxygen on Friday morning.
The international rescue operation team included the Thai Navy SEALs and experts from the US, China, Australia and the UK.
Medical teams will continue to monitor the boys’ health even as they remain trapped inside the cave.