(26 August 1999, Thailand) An elderly Buddhist monk and three of his followers died from spending hours in a homemade herbal sauna. Five other worshippers remain hospitalized in serious condition. The poorly constructed sauna had been assembled in a basement room in the Bungrasi Buddhist temple near Bangkok.
The group spent two hours collapsing in the sauna before the 88-year-old monk crawled out to ask for help. Victims were rushed to a nearby hospital, where the monk and three women were pronounced dead. "An autopsy indicated that the victims had suffocated in the heat of the room, and died from smoke inhalation," a police spokesperson said.