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National Briefing / Arizona

2 die, others ill at sweat lodge

October 10, 2009|Times Wire Reports

A sauna-like sweat lodge meant to provide spiritual cleansing became the scene of a police investigation after more than a dozen people became ill during a two-hour session and two later died.

In all, 21 of the 64 people crowded inside the sweat lodge at a resort Thursday evening received medical care. Four remained hospitalized Friday evening -- one in critical condition and the others in fair condition.

The cause of the deaths and illnesses has yet to be determined; tests for carbon monoxide and other contaminants were negative. Yavapai County sheriff's spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn said authorities were checking whether any of the attendees had medical conditions or were fasting.

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