Thai football captain who was trapped in cave killed himself, coroner rules

Following an inquest into Duangphet Phromthep death on February 14, a coroner recorded a conclusion of suicide.

Thai football team captain who was trapped in cave killed himself, coroner rules Getty Images

The captain of the Thai football team which was trapped in a cave for several days in 2018 took his own life while at school in the UK, a coroner has ruled.

Duangphet Phromthep died at Kettering General Hospital on February 14, two days after being found unconscious at Brooke House College in Market Harborough, Leicestershire.

Following an inquest into the 17-year-old’s death on October 4 at Leicester Coroner’s Court, Professor Catherine Mason, senior coroner for Leicester City and South Leicestershire, recorded a conclusion of suicide.

In a record of inquest seen by the PA news agency, Prof Mason said: “Mr Phromthep was not known to mental health services, and it is not known why he took the actions that he did.

“It could not have been foreseen or prevented.

“The police investigation has found no evidence of third-party involvement or suspicious circumstances.”

The BBC had previously reported that Duangphet, known as Dom, had enrolled as a student in the football academy late last year at Brooke House College.

In a statement on Friday, Ian Smith, the school’s principal, said its community “remains united in grief” over Dom’s death and that he will be “hugely missed”.

He said: “As a college, the health, wellbeing and welfare of our students is our absolute priority.

“This was reflected in our recent ISI [Independent Schools Inspectorate] safeguarding inspection from April 2023, which confirmed pupils know they have many people they can speak to, that they would be confident to do so if they felt any concerns and they know those concerns would be acted on if they did raise them.

“The coroner also acknowledged the entire college community for the high quality of our student care, welfare & safeguarding and noted this tragic incident sadly could not have been foreseen nor prevented.

“We have robust safeguarding systems in place which enable us to provide appropriate support for students when needed, and we keep these systems under constant review so that we can do everything possible to provide the necessary support to every child.

“Since this tragedy, our dedicated pastoral team has continued to provide support to students and colleagues.

“We have continued to liaise closely with the Royal Thai Embassy and other agencies to enable the family’s wishes to be carried out, and we ask for continued privacy and compassion for all affected by his loss.

“Dom will always remain a part of the Brooke House family and will be hugely missed.”

Dom previously gained worldwide fame as the captain of The Wild Boars, or Moo Pa in Thai, football team.

The team became trapped in the Tham Luang cave system in 2018 after a sudden storm caused flooding which blocked the exit.

The boys, then aged between 11 and 16, and their 25-year-old coach spent nine days in darkness without food before they were found by an international search and rescue effort involving around 10,000 people.

Dom turned 13 while trapped in the cave, with images of the boys beamed across the world before they were sedated and removed by a team of divers one at a time.

They left hospital a few weeks later after some contracted lung infections while they were trapped.

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