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Football Player Dies of Heat Stroke

Vikings lineman Korey Stringer had collapsed at practice

Korey Stringer, a 335-pound standout offensive lineman for the Minnesota Vikings, died today of heat stroke, a day after collapsing at the team's training camp in brutally hot weather.

At a news conference, Vikings head coach Dennis Green said today the team had lost "a brother, a teammate and a friend," according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Stringer, 27, left Monday's workout -- the season's first -- because of heat exhaustion but tried to practice yesterday. Vikings officials told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune he had been upset with himself for his poor performance on Monday and was determined to make up for it yesterday, according to this story from

Team officials said Stringer vomited several times during the morning workout yesterday and could not keep water down. But he wouldn't stop practicing, even as temperatures climbed well into the 90s with a heat index of 110.

He developed heat stroke symptoms after practice and was taken to Immanuel St. Joseph's-Mayo Health System in Mankato, Minn., the story says.

Stringer was unconscious when he arrived at the hospital, and his body temperature was 108. His organs began shutting down as the day went on, even though he was receiving attention from specialists, according to a statement from the team.

He was pronounced dead at 1:50 a.m. today.

The Vikings issued a statement today expressing regret over Stringer's death, and cancelled the team's practice today.

When the Vikings drafted Stringer from Ohio State University in 1995, he was believed to have been the largest man -- 388 pounds at the time -- to have donned an NFL uniform. But this St. Paul Pioneer Press article from 1998 talks about how his skills improved as he shed weight.

Heat stroke occurs when the body is unable to regulate its temperature. The temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down.

Body temperature can rise to 106 degrees or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment isn't provided, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To learn more about heat stroke, how to recognize it and how to treat it, visit this CDC Web site.

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