A taco eating contest during a minor-league baseball game in Fresno, California ended tragically Tuesday night.
The Fresno Bee reports that a 41-year-old man died after he “abruptly collapsed” several minutes into the contest, according to eyewitnesses. Emergency medical technicians on the scene attempted to resuscitate him before paramedics arrived to move him to a nearby medical facility, where he was later pronounced dead. No official cause of death has been declared, and an autopsy is pending; however, a coroner’s spokesman stated that “emergency staff at the hospital did clear food from [the man’s] throat, and preliminary indications are that he died of choking.”
The Fresno Grizzlies, who play in the stadium, issued a statement:
A planned taco truck event at the stadium will still take place this Saturday, but a previously scheduled eating competition alongside it has been cancelled.
Sadly, a horrific incident of this nature is not without precedent; in 2017, a college student died of asphyxiation during a pancake eating contest. Our condolences go to the man’s family and friends during this unimaginably difficult time.