Theme park mascot dies after dancing for 20 minutes in costume during Japan heatwave

At least 11 dead and more than 5,000 hospitalised from heat-related medical issues

Zamira Rahim@ZamiraRahim
Wednesday 31 July 2019 14:30
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Hirakata Park has cancelled all mascot costume events scheduled for the summer in response to the tragedy
Hirakata Park has cancelled all mascot costume events scheduled for the summer in response to the tragedy

A man has died after dancing in an amusement park’s mascot costume during a heatwave in Japan.

Part-time worker Yohei Yamaguchi died from heatstroke on Sunday in Hirakata Park, Osaka.

The costume is believed to have weighed 16kg, and temperatures in Hirakata hit highs of 33.2C.

The 28-year-old collapsed after dancing for 20 minutes during a full dress rehearsal, according to The Japan Times.

A colleague called the emergency services at around 8pm but Mr Yamaguchi later died.

Hirakata Park has cancelled all mascot costume events scheduled for the summer in response to the tragedy.

A spokesperson said the park would investigate the cause of the 28-year-old’s death and implement preventative measures.

Mr Yamaguchi was one of 11 people who died in Japan last week due to heat-related medical issues.

A further 5,664 people were hospitalised, with 119 exhibiting severe symptoms of heatstroke, according to Japan’s government.

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Temperatures in the country have rocketed since the rainy season ended earlier this month.

On Monday, the highest temperature in Japan was recorded in the town of Ibigawa at 37.2C.

Additional reporting by agencies

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