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Native American Religious Ceremony Leaves Two Dead, 14 Others Injured

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A traditional Navajo religious ceremony in New Mexico ended in tragedy Sunday, with two people reported dead and 14 more injured.

The incident occurred on the Alamo Navajo Indian Reservation in Socorro County, KOAT reported.



According to local police, the ceremony had been taking place inside a hogan, a structure used by the Navajo for both residential and ceremonial purposes.

Christina Tsosie of the Navajo Police Department provided some details regarding what happened.

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She said the 14 people who were injured had suffered from smoke inhalation.

Causes of death for the two people who died have not been determined.

According to Tsosie, the ceremony had begun on Saturday night.

It is typical for such an event to last all night, she said.

An open fire pit that burns inside the hogan is part of the ceremony.

On Sunday at 6:30 a.m., a woman reported finding two unresponsive people on the floor inside the hogan.

First responders arrived to perform CPR on the two individuals.

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However, their attempts were unsuccessful.

Those injured said they felt “sick and dizzy” the night of the ceremony, according to KOAT.

All were treated on-site for smoke inhalation.

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