US teen died after doing spicy chip challenge, autopsy shows

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - NEW YORK, May 17 — A US teenager died of cardiac arrest after taking part in a social media challenge daring people to eat a single extremely hot tortilla chip, an autopsy revealed Thursday.

Harris Wolobah, a 14-year-old from Massachusetts, died in September after taking part in the so-called “One Chip Challenge” — which involved a single chip produced by Paqui, dusted with Carolina Reaper and Naga Viper peppers.

The dare has manifested in several iterations over the years, with the peppers changing each time.

The local chief medical examiner determined that Harris died of cardiac arrest after ingesting a food with a large amount of a chili pepper extract called capsaicin, said the autopsy report, seen by AFP.

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The autopsy also concluded that the teen had an enlarged heart, which could have contributed to his death.

Days after his death, Paqui removed the product — packaged in a coffin-shaped box with a red skull and marked ‘extreme heat’ — from store shelves.

In California, three youths were hospitalised after taking part in the dare, and seven got sick in Minnesota for the same reason, according to media reports. — AFP

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