Death Prompts Review of West Virginia Endurance Event

Organizers reviewing obstacles on Tough Mudder course following the death of a competitor from Maryland

Wednesday, Apr 24, 2013  |  Updated 1:42 PM EDT
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Organizers are reviewing an endurance event held in West Virginia following the death of a competitor from Maryland.

Police say 28-year-old Avishek Sengupta of Ellicott City, Md., attended the Tough Mudder endurance event near Glengary, W.V., with a half-dozen friends Saturday.

At the "Walk the Plank" part of the competition, Sengupta jumped into a deep pool of muddy water 15 feet below a wooden platform, but didn't resurface, reported the Baltimore Sun.

He was later found in the water and flown to Inova Fairfax, where he died the next day.

A medical examiner ruled Sengupta's cause of death was drowning.

The Tough Mudder organization is reviewing the protocol for all obstacles, spokesperson Ashley Pinakiewicz told the [Martinsburg, W.V.] Journal. It also is reviewing how water safety personnel are briefed and managed.

She says there aren't any plans to remove any obstacles but changes would be made as deemed necessary.

The 12-mile course" routinely features 20 to 25 hazards depending on the location's topography," Pinakiewicz told the Journal: "She said the range at Peacemaker National Training Center had 22 hazards on the military-style obstacle course that exposed the approximately 13,000 participants to icy water, fire and even electrical shocks from live wires as they traveled the hilly terrain."

A planned event this weekend in Ohio, is still happening as scheduled, she told the Journal.

Officials say this is the first fatality in the company's three-year history. The company has held more than 50 events.

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