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Vikings football player dies of heat stroke

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Korey Stringer died early Wednesday of heat stroke  


EDEN PRAIRIE, Minnesota (CNN) -- Pro Bowl offensive lineman Korey Stringer of the Minnesota Vikings died of heat stroke early Wednesday, the team said.

The 6-foot-4, 335-pound Stringer, 27, died at Immanuel St. Joseph's Hospital -- Mayo Health System in Mankato, where the team holds its preseason practices.

His death came as dangerously hot weather continued to pose a problem for the central United States. Temperatures were expected to reach as high as 100 degrees in Iowa and Illinois on Wednesday.

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The Vikings news conference saw some emotional scenes (August 1)

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Stringer began exhibiting signs of heat stroke, including weakness and rapid breathing, after a morning practice session Tuesday.

Dave Hansen, who covers the Vikings for CNN affiliate KMSP, reports Stringer was feeling sick throughout the practice.

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Temperatures in Mankato reached a high of 91 degrees Tuesday. The heat index -- how hot it feels when the temperature is combined with the relative humidity -- reached as high as 111 degrees.

Stringer's temperature reached 108 degrees

The Vikings' athletic trainers treated Stringer at the practice field and called for an ambulance.

By the time Stringer arrived at the hospital, he was unresponsive and had a core body temperature over 108 degrees. He developed multi-organ system failure throughout the day, the team said.

"He never regained consciousness and despite all efforts, his heart failed at 1:50 a.m.," a team statement said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, people suffer heat-related illness when their bodies' normal cooling process, sweating, is rendered inefficient due to extraordinarily high temperatures, humidity and/or exertion. In such cases, a person's body temperature can rise rapidly, potentially causing brain or other organ damage.

Vikings cancel training camp

Minnesota has canceled its training camp for Wednesday, according to the team Web site. The practice schedule for the rest of the week will be announced at a later time.

Stringer is the second high-profile football player in the past two weeks to die of heat stroke. University of Florida freshman Eraste Autin collapsed July 19 after a summer training session. He spent six days in a coma before dying.

Stringer was Minnesota's first-round pick in the 1995 college draft. Before his professional career, the offensive lineman was a two-time All-American at Ohio State University, where he majored in recreational education. He was also an All-American at Harding High School in Warren, Ohio.

Stringer is survived by his wife Kelci and 3-year-old son Kodie Drew, according to the Vikings' Web site.






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