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Man dies in Wal-Mart aisle

Andrew Raven
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Mar 22/06) - Shoppers rushed to perform CPR on a 26-year-old man who collapsed in an aisle of the Yellowknife Wal-Mart Sunday morning.

Police and the coroner are not sure what felled the man, who was from Lutsel K'e. Despite the shoppers' efforts, the man was pronounced dead at Stanton Territorial Hospital.

"When that happens to someone who is 40 or 50, it usually points to a cardiac problem," said chief coroner Percy Kinney.

"It is very unusual for someone that young to collapse and die."

The man fell to the floor in the craft section of the Yellowknife retailer around 11 a.m., according to police and the coroner.

"He just went down," said Wal-Mart manager Vince Berezowski. "We don't know what happened. I have never seen anything like that before."

Store officials called a "code white", which notifies managers of an emergency. Two nearby shoppers - who saw the man collapse - performed CPR and store officials called an ambulance, said Berezowski. The incident has police and the coroner scratching their heads. Aside from lacerations caused by the fall, the man had no injuries.

RCMP Sgt. Darcy Fleury said the death is not considered suspicious. "We are assisting the coroner's investigation. Foul play does not seem to have been a factor," said Fleury.

The man's body was flown to Edmonton Sunday afternoon for an autopsy and toxicology tests.

Kinney declined to release the man's name until his family had been notified.