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Hospital Turns Patients Away Due To Influx Of ‘Tough Mudder’ Injuries

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Screen capture of Avi Sengupta, a Tough Mudder participant who died during the obstacle course race. (Credit: WJZ-13)

Screen capture of Avi Sengupta, a Tough Mudder participant who died during the obstacle course race. (Credit: WJZ-13)

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (CBS Baltimore/AP) – An area hospital was forced to turn away patients when it became overwhelmed by people needing care after participating in a recent “Tough Mudder” event.

Teresa McCabe, an employee of West Virginia University Hospitals-East – which oversees the temporarily swamped City Hospital – told WJZ media partner The Baltimore Sun that the emergency room of the facility was forced to send patients away for a period of time on Saturday because of the onslaught of obstacle course race participants in need of medical attention.

The Sun also learned that the “Tough Mudder” even caused two people to suffer heart attacks. Additionally, 10 patients were said to be treated for hypothermia, head and orthopedic injuries and drowning.

The same race that brought injured people to City Hospital in droves also claimed the life of one participant.

Police say Avishek Sengupta, 28, of Ellicott City, Md., was found in water at the “Walk the Plank” obstacle of the endurance event. He died the next day at a northern Virginia hospital. A medical examiner said Sengupta drowned.

CBS Baltimore spoke with friends of Sengupta, who said the deceased had trained for months in preparation for the event, and was described as being in great physical shape.

The “Mid-Atlantic Tough Mudder” event was held at the Peacemaker National Training Center and had 22 hazards that included icy water, fire and electrical shocks from live wires.

“We are undergoing a thorough review of the protocol for all obstacles, including the one that was involved in this incident. We are also internally reviewing how we brief and manage our water safety personnel,” “Tough Mudder” spokeswoman Ashley Pinakiewicz told The Journal.

“We will also be implementing any changes with staff and volunteers which are found to be necessary,” she added.

British Special Forces designed the 12-mile event to test competitors’ physical and mental strength. An event typically features 20 to 25 hazards depending on the topography, according to Pinakiewicz.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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