Police finally question injured Sauna World Championship finalist
The Finnish finalist who sustained serious burns and was hospitalised after the annual Sauna World Championships held in Heinola from August 5th to 7th has woken up from the coma that doctors placed him in.
The competition came to a tragic end when Russian Vladimir Ladyzhensky and his Finnish rival had to be dragged forcibly from the sauna, and paramedics attempted to revive them.
For Ladyzhensky it proved too late, and he was pronounced dead on his way to hospital.
His rival for this year's title, the five-time previous winner Timo Kaukonen, was taken to hospital in Helsinki, where he was being kept sedated by doctors to ease his recovery.
Earlier this week, the Eastern Uusimaa Police were finally able to meet Timo Kaukonen in order to question him about the incident.
Detective Inspector Timo Pirinen, the head of the investigation, has not commented on the state of health of the World Championship finalist nor on the details of the questioning.
The police have spoken to about 20 witnesses in order to find out what actually happened on the fatal evening.
For the time being, Pirinen is not willing to disclose how many people are suspected of criminal negligence or other crimes.
During the preliminary investigations the police have been examining the incident as a case of involuntary manslaughter, causing bodily harm, and violating the Act on Public Assembly.
A post-mortem report on the dead Russian man has been completed this week, while the preliminary inquiry is expected to be submitted by the end of the current year.
The World Sauna Championships were first held in 1999, and sprang up out of unofficial sauna-sitting endurance competitions that resulted in a ban from a swimming hall in Heinola for those taking part.
The future of the competition - once seen as a fun example of wacky Finnish summer events - appears to be uncertain.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Police investigating circumstances of fatal accident at Sauna World Championships (16.8.2010)
Russian finalist dies at Sauna World Championships (10.8.2010)
Sauna championship finalists lacked medical certificates (23.8.2010)