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Osaka amusement park performer in full-body costume dies of heatstroke

Hirakata Park (Photo courtesy of the park)

OSAKA -- A man died of heatstroke after performing a rehearsal for a show in a full-body costume on the night of July 28 at Hirakata Park in the Osaka Prefecture city of Hirakata in western Japan, police said on July 29.

The Osaka Prefectural Police's Hirakata Police Station has started investigating the operator of the amusement park over suspicions of professional negligence resulting in death.

According to the police station, the 28-year-old temporary employee of the park operating company, a resident of Hirakata, was in charge of welcoming guests and performing.

During about 20 minutes from 7:30 p.m. on July 28, the part-time worker participated in a rehearsal for a show opening in August while wearing the full-body fairy costume. He complained of feeling ill and lost consciousness after finishing the rehearsal and was confirmed dead at a hospital to which he was taken by an ambulance.

The park operator explained to the Mainichi Shimbun that no abnormalities with the man had been reported until just before the rehearsal and that he had also stayed hydrated. The company decided to cancel costumed shows for this summer and not to resume them until the cause of the incident is revealed.

The police station plans to question people related to the matter about work management conditions at the amusement park.

The high temperature in Hirakata on July 28 marked 33.2 degrees Celsius.

(Japanese original by Shinya Yamamoto, Osaka Bureau)

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