Two college students found dead inside helium balloon

Published: Jun. 4, 2006 at 8:04 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 7, 2006 at 4:16 AM EDT
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(Lutz, Florida-AP) June 4, 2006 - Two college students have been found dead inside a large, deflated helium balloon.

Authorities in Florida say the deaths appear accidental. The students apparently pulled down the eight-foot-round balloon and crawled inside it.

The mother of one victim says they thought they were doing "a fun thing," apparently trying to inhale some helium.

But inhaling helium can quickly lead to brain damage and death from lack of oxygen, according to the Compressed Gas Association. The group develops safety standards in the gas industry.

The balloon had been placed at the entrance of a condominium complex north of Tampa as advertising.

The county medical examiner said the cause of death won't be released for six weeks, until toxicology results come back.

Posted 4:03pm by Bryce Mursch