The radio station whose Nintendo Wii water-drinking contest led to the death of a 28 year-old woman has fired 10 staff - including five on-air 'personalities' - as separate reports suggest the crew made jokes about their indemnity as listeners complained of the dangers of water intoxication on air.
The Sacramento Bee reports that a woman had phoned KDND 107.9 pointing out the danger, but one host told her, "we're aware of that," while another said the contestants had signed a release, "so we're not responsible". They then joked about whether anybody involved was "dying". "We got a guy who's just about to die," someone with the contestants had said. "Make sure he signs the release," the host replied.
Oops. As it turned out, one of the contestants, Jennifer Strange, was having problems, and had complained of a headache as she left - having finished second. The idea was to drink as much water as possible without going to the lavatory in order to win a Nintendo Wii. Estimates suggest Strange had consumed around two gallons of water.
Despite the grisly nature of the recording though, local sheriffs said there didn't appear to be grounds for a criminal investigation. "It's not as if she was somehow in their custody and they had a role to care for her," Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness told the Bee on Tuesday. "Rather, it was an invitation to a contest that was clearly ill- advised. She was exercising her free will. If there's anything to suggest a criminal act by anyone involved in this, we'd pick it up and run with it."