A Czech mother and daughter supposedly died after a faulty door handle caused them to become trapped in a sauna for more than an hour, authorities said.
Agence France-Presse reported that the women, ages 65 and 45, were using a sauna at a friend’s home in a Jincin, Czech Republic, garden colony on Sunday. Police spokeswoman Iva Kormosova claimed the pair were locked in the sauna for approximately 90 minutes.
“The owner thought they were taking too long to come out so she went to check and found them lying on the floor,” Kormosova commented in a Sunday statement.
Kormosova claimed the mother and daughter unsuccessfully attempted to break a window to escape before perishing in the sauna. Emergency services later arrived at the Jincin home and pronounced the pair dead.
It is believed that a broken door handle is to blame for the freak accident. Police photos showed broken glass from the sauna door and towels on the floor. Another image depicted a latch with a missing handle.
An autopsy examination will be carried out to determine the mother and daughter’s exact cause of death.
Though sauna-related deaths are rare, they do happen.
In 2015, a 68-year-old Florida man burned to death while sitting for hours in a malfunctioning sauna. According to the New York Daily News, Dennis Antiporek died in the North Miami Beach condo sauna. The man’s burned body was supposedly found a few feet from the door in the fetal position.
“I close my eyes and I just see his face charred,” wife of 49 years Ronnie Antiporek told a WQAM. “And this sounds horrible, but there was skin on the floor and on the bench, and we shouldn’t have had to see that.”
The family’s lawyer claimed a timer meant to control the temperature stopped working, causing the sauna to be hotter than normal. WTVJ later reported that a medical examiner determined the father and husband succumbed to a heart attack.