A woman has died during a lamington-eating contest in Australia on the country’s national holiday.
The 60-year-old was taking part in a popular Australia Day contest to eat as many cakes as possible when she is reported to have had a seizure at about 2pm on Sunday.
A lamington is a traditional Australian treat that is made from squares of butter or sponge cake, coated in chocolate sauce and rolled in desiccated coconut.
The Beach House Hotel in Hervey Bay, Queensland, posted a message on its Facebook page expressing its “deepest condolences to the friends and family of one of our patrons following the tragic event at our venue on Australia Day”.
“We acknowledge and thank our supportive patrons, staff, and the Queensland Ambulance Service for their prompt and professional response while this tragic incident was unfolding,” the post read.
“The hotel staff have been offered professional support while our thoughts firmly remain with the family at this challenging time.”
The pub was reportedly packed with people when the woman, who has not been named, got into trouble.
Footage posted on Facebook shows spectators cheering on the eaters before the incident.
Reports suggest staff and managers tried to resuscitate the woman before paramedics arrived, but neither attempts were successful.
Comments expressing sympathy to those affected by the death have since flooded the Beach House Hotel Facebook page.
Among them was one that called the death a “tragic end to an iconic Aussie event”.
Another said the woman “was just enjoying herself” and several thanked staff and paramedics for doing all they could to help.
Eating competitions – where contestants compete to eat as many cakes, hot dogs or pies as fast as they can – are popular on Australia Day, which marks the arrival of the first fleet of British ships to Australia.