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A Dutch tourist swallowed his car key and choked to death because the Spanish authorities could not understand him, it has been reported.
The 37-year-old from the Netherlands was on holiday with his family in Barcelona.
He allegedly went to a supermarket in the Sarria district of the Spanish city, where he was "in an evident state of excitement and causing altercations" in the store last Thursday (August 5).
The man was pleading for help but he was kicked out of the store because supermarket employees could not understand what he was trying to say.
Staff at the supermarket notified the Guardia Urbana, the municipal police force in Barcelona, Euro Weekly News reports.
Officers had to intervene and restrain the man, who lost consciousness and vital signs.
The police tried to resuscitate the man before health workers took over and managed to prise a key out of his throat.
The emergency services managed to stabilise the man and he was transferred to Sant Pau hospital, but he died around 2.15am on the morning of Friday, August 6.
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It it is unclear if shoppers could not understand him because he was speaking Dutch or because he was unable to speak at all because he had swallowed the car keys.
The man was on holiday in the city with his family and they were staying in accommodation close to the supermarket where the tragedy struck.
Barcelona City Council has indicated that they have spoken with the family members and offered them support from local social services. The Dutch consulate has also been contacted.
The Guardia Urbana is cooperating with the Mossos d'Esquadra, the autonomous police force responsible for law enforcement in Catalonia.
They are probing how and why the key ended up in the man's throat.
- In the News
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