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Boy, 13, dies after choking on hot dog at San Pedro charity event

February 3, 2010 |  9:18 pm
Police said Wednesday that they were investigating the death of a 13-year-old boy who choked on a hot dog during a charity event at the San Pedro Boys and Girls Club.

The boy swallowed the hot dog during a contest last Thursday and died several days later after he was taken off life support, said Sgt. Danny Contreras of the Los Angeles Police Department's Harbor Division.

"It was a very unfortunate accident," said Contreras, who said detectives were conducting a death report investigation.

He said people tried to help the boy before rescuers arrived. "None of them were able to dislodge it from his throat," Contreras said.

Officials from the Boys and Girls Club were not available Wednesday night for comment.

But the executive director of the center, Mike Lansing, told the Daily Breeze that the event was organized to raise money for Haiti earthquake victims.

Lansing said the contest was not to determine who could eat the most hot dogs. Instead, each youth ate a hot dog and bun with whipped cream on it, Lansing was quoted as saying.

Those who ate the hot dogs received a candy as a prize, according to the newspaper.

--Robert J. Lopez