According to reports from the BBC, the party was hosted by Yekaterina Didenko, an Instagram influencer who was celebrating her 29th birthday at a pool complex. Her husband is said to be one of the three people who died.
Dry ice is a solid form of carbon dioxide, which can suffocate people if there isn’t proper ventilation. Guests of the party reportedly choked along with several losing consciousness when they entered the pool.
It was not immediately clear why the dry ice was poured into the pool at the party venue, though the BBC reported that the ice was meant to cool the swimming-pool water to help guests cool off after exiting a sauna. The Daily Mail and the AFP news agency via The Moscow Times added that the dry ice might have been put into the pool simply to create visual effects for photos.
The New York State Department of Health warns about the dangers of dry ice, saying that symptoms of overexposure to the substance include “headache and difficulty breathing, and with greater exposure, nausea and vomiting.” The Department of Health page also states that if enough carbon dioxide gas is present, a person can lose consciousness or die.
Didenko’s last post is an Instagram photo for her birthday that she put up on Friday. Following the party, she is said to have shared a video on Instagram indicating that her husband was at intensive care.