CHIANG RAI, Thailand July 6 (NNN-Bernama) A former Thai Navy Seal has died during the rescue operation at Tham Luang cave, while concern rises over the reducing air supply inside the cave, the National News Bureau of Thailand (NNT) reported.

The Navy Seal unit taking part in the rescue operation delivered news of the unfortunate development at a media briefing on Friday morning.

The deceased was identified as Saman Kunan, a 38 year-old petty officer.

Saman was responsible for placing oxygen tanks along the 1.7-kilometre airtight rough terrain linking the third chamber and Nern Nom Sao, the current position of the 12 boys and their football coach.

He fell unconscious while on his way back to the command centre in the third chamber, and was brought back to the centre and given first aid treatment before being sent to hospital.

Saman did not regain consciousness and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The military has announced that an honorary military funeral will be held for Saman.

A command centre has been set up inside the third chamber to coordinate the rescue mission, which includes the delivery of supplies and equipment to the location of the 12 boys and their football coach.

The only way to reach the survivors is to dive through murky waters and takes a strenuous five to six hours to make the 1.7 kilometre underwater trip.

Military officers are focusing their efforts on laying down pipelines delivering air supply and a communications system.

They acknowledged that the oxygen level inside the cave is noticeably reduced.

Meanwhile, efforts to drain water out of the cave continue, with officers being dispatched to find and redirect water sources from entering the cave.NNN-BERNAMA

Source: NAM News Network