Funeral of Thai 'cave boy' who died in UK ends with prayers
MAE SAI, Thailand (AP) — Mourners filled a temple chamber for a final prayer session Sunday in northern Thailand for one of the 12 boys rescued from a flooded cave in 2018 who died at school in England last month.
Duangphet “Dom” Phromthep, 17, was found unconscious in his room on Feb. 12 at the Brooke House College Football Academy in Leicestershire and died at a hospital two days later.
His body was cremated earlier this week during a Buddhist ceremony in England. His cause of death was not known but police said it was not believed to be suspicious.
Sunday’s prayer session brings an end to a two-day funeral ceremony at the Wat Phra That Doi Wao temple, in the far north border province of Chiang Rai.
The temple is located less than 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from the Tham Luang Cave, where Duangphet and 11 of his soccer teammates and their coach were trapped for more than two weeks before they were safely guided out by expert cave divers from around the world working with Thai navy SEALs.
Arriving from the nearby city of Chiang Mai with pictures of Duangphet, a floral wreath and his old soccer jersey, players from the Vachiralai Bee School, where Duangphet studied before going to England on a scholarship, gathered in the temple by their classmate's shrine.
“In terms of football, he was 100%. He was highly determined. When we gave him his first tryout, his football ability was very good,” said Suban Wiboonma, Duangphet’s head coach at the school. “We wanted a striker who could score and we got him.”
Duangphet's ashes are scheduled to be scattered in the Mekong River on Monday.