Anxiety is mounting over the safety of 12 soccer boys and their coach trapped inside a flooded cave in Thailand following the death of an experienced former navy seal.
Petty officer Saman Kunan, 37, was ferrying empty oxygen tanks when he ran out of oxygen himself.
He passed out. His buddy’s efforts to revive him failed. They were working in desperate conditions in the middle of the night when tragedy struck.
A total of 13, including a coach and 12 boys have been trapped inside the flooded cave deep underground and authorities are pumping out water as fast as they can. But Monsoon rains are expected to start as soon as this weekend.
Kunan was hailed a hero on his Facebook page which portrays a man deeply involved in sports. He was a security officer at the airport but had joined hundreds working to extract the boys.
Rescue workers say they are feeling the effects of reduced oxygen levels inside the caves where work stations have been established. Fresh air is to be pumped into the cave.
More than 130 million litres of water has been pumped out but those gains could be lost if the rains begins.
The Thai King has ordered special funeral rites for the hero who died while trying to save lives.
On Facebook, several people from around the world were paying a tribute to Kunan.
Said one poster: You're a hero! The whole world knows that. Rest in peace.