Las Vegas spa worker found frozen to death inside cryotherapy tank
Spa worker Chelsea Ake-Salvacion was found dead inside a cryotherapy tank – a capsule that surrounds the body in freezing temperatures, in a bid to relieve pain
A 24-year-old Las Vegas beauty salon employee has been found dead inside a cryotherapy deep-freeze unit.
Chelsea Ake-Salvacion sent a text message to her boyfriend saying that her muscles were aching and she was staying late at work for a few minutes inside the tank, to assist her recovery in the -110 celcius temperatures.
She was found dead by co-workers the following morning, October 10.
On Tuesday the Rejuvenice centre where she worked, in Henderson, a southern Vegas suburb, was shut down by the local authorities for not having the correct insurance documentation. The Las Vegas Review Journal reported that inspectors from the Nevada state board of cosmetology were due to visit on Tuesday afternoon to assess whether the site was carrying out unlicensed procedures.
The treatment, which exposes the body to nitrogen gas at sub-zero temperatures, is said to assist muscle regeneration and improve skin tone. Daniel Craig, Jennifer Aniston, footballers Franck Ribery and Cristiano Ronaldo and basketball player LeBron James have all reportedly used the tanks – an extreme version of an ice bath.
In the US salons offering the treatment have sprung up in at least 30 cities, with a three minute session in a cryotherapy chamber costing anywhere between $40 and $100 (£26-65).
But some experts have expressed doubts about its usefulness, and others have questioned its safety. Practitioners say no one should ever be in the chamber alone, as Ake-Salvacion was.
In a statement, the owners of the centre where Ake-Salvacion died – a two-store chain called Rejuvenice – said they were “devastated by this accident,” and that they were “voluntarily scrutinising each and every one of our internal procedures to ensure nothing like this ever happens again.”
The company’s website says that its chambers are “equipped with numerous safety features” and that doors are never locked, allowing clients to exit at any time.
“Something went wrong,” said Albert Ake, 48, the uncle of Ake-Salvacion. He told The New York Times: “What she told me is that there is nothing dangerous about doing this. That the only thing that could happen is you’re there a little too long and you get frost nip on your fingers.”