Thailand Rescuers Face A Fellow's Death, Pressure
Pressure is mounting on Thai authorities to bring forward a rescue plan for 12 boys and their coach trapped deep inside a flooded cave in northern Thailand, after the death of a former navy diver and a drop in oxygen levels underground.
Officials initially thought they could keep the boys and their coach in the cave where they are trapped for up to four months, until waters dropped sufficiently for them to be able to walk out.
But the death of a rescue team member – a diver – and the realization that oxygen levels have fallen to potentially dangerous levels, appears to have forced a reassessment of the situation, report the BBC and CNN.
The diver, Saman, died after losing consciousness in one of the passageways, said Passakorn Boonyaluck, deputy governor of the Chiang Rai region, where the cave is situated.
"His job was to deliver oxygen. He did not have enough on his way back," Passakorn said.
He said that Saman's dive partner tried to revive him but could not, and his body was brought out of the cave.
Saman, who was reportedly 38, had left the navy but returned to aid in the rescue operation. Said to be an avid runner and cyclist, he was part of the massive rescue operation launched after the group became stranded in the Tham Luang cave.