Two people died and another 19 were injured at a central Arizona resort after spending up to two hours in a “sweatbox,” authorities said Friday.
About 50 people had spent up to two hours inside the “sweatbox,” a dome-like structure covered with tarps and blankets, according to the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office. Hot rocks and water are used to create steam in the enclosed environment. Fire and rescue officials received an emergency call Thursday night from the Angel Valley Resort near Sedona and transported the injured by air and land ambulances to nearby medical facilities, the sheriff’s office said in a release. Two of the injured were pronounced dead shortly after arrival at the Verde Valley Medical Center. At least one patient remained in critical condition Friday at the Verde Valley Medical Center, the sheriff’s office said. The two fatalities had not been publicly identified Friday afternoon other than as “a middle-aged man and woman.” The sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Section began a death investigation Thursday night. A sheriff’s spokesman did not immediately return phone calls left by CNN. Angel Valley Resort advertises itself as “a place to relax and heal … where powerful earth energies are present and active.” It’s Web site says the resort is on 70 secluded valley acres 20 minutes from Sedona. The resort says it is surrounded by thousands of acres of national forest.