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Tough Mudder participant dies in Va. hospital

Ellicott City, Md., man had to be removed from deep pool on endurance course; death ruled accidental by Va. medical examiner's office

April 22, 2013|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com

GLENGARY, W.Va. — An Ellicott City, Md., man died Sunday at a Virginia hospital after participating in the Tough Mudder endurance series in Berkeley County on Saturday, police said.

Avishek Sengupta, 28, was pronounced dead at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Va., Berkeley County Sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Ted Snyder said Monday.

Sengupta’s death was ruled accidental by the Virginia medical examiner’s office in Manassas, Va., which said Monday afternoon that drowning was the cause of death.

Sengupta had to be removed from a fairly deep pool at the “Walk the Plank” aquatic obstacle where it appears he was submerged for too long, according to Snyder.

Sengupta was treated by staff on site and responding medics and was revived at some point before he died Sunday, Snyder said.

The victim’s sister notified Snyder of her brother’s death about 8:30 p.m. Sunday.

“He was an active individual and kept himself in good shape,” Snyder said.

Sengupta was with a group of about six friends who joined thousands of others for the two-day event over the weekend at the Peacemaker National Training Center near the small community of Glengary.

“As organizers, we take our responsibility to provide a safe event to our participants very seriously,” Will Dean, chief executive officer of Tough Mudder, said in a news release.

“Tough Mudder is devastated by this tragic accident,” he said.

Sengupta was the first person to die in Tough Mudder since the first event was held in 2010, according to company spokeswoman Ashley Pinakiewicz.

About 750,000 people have participated in more than 50 events since then, according to Tough Mudder.

City Hospital in Martinsburg — where Sengupta was first taken — received 20 patients from Tough Mudder, West Virginia University Hospitals-East said in a statement Monday.

Two of the 14 patients taken to the hospital’s emergency department Saturday were treated for heart attacks and two others were “potential” drownings, a 40-year-old woman and Sengupta, who Snyder said was flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital later in the afternoon.

One of the patients who had a heart attack was treated at City Hospital, while the other was transferred to another facility, according to the hospital’s statement.

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