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Members of the media attend a news conference about the death of a Thai rescue diver after he fell unconscious during part of an operation, in front of the Tham Luang cave complex, where 12 boys and their soccer coach are trapped, in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, July 6, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

(reuters_tickers)

BANGKOK (Reuters) - A Thai rescuer has died after falling unconscious during part of an operation to rescue 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped inside a cave complex in northern Thailand.

Samarn Poonan, a former member of Thailand's elite navy SEAL unit who was part of the rescue team in Chiang Rai, died on Thursday night after entering the cave to lay oxygen tanks along a potential exit route, the SEAL commander said.

(Reporting by Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Panarat Thepgumpanat; Editing by Darren Schuettler)

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Reuters