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Denied Entry Into Club, Indian Student Dies Of Cold In Illinois

| Updated: February 23, 2024 17:19

In yet another incident involving an Indian student in the US, an 18-year-old identified as Akul Dhawan reportedly died last month after being left out in the cold for hours.

The Champaign County Coroner’s Office in Illinois said the Indian-American, a student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, died of hypothermia following “acute alcohol intoxication and prolonged exposure to freezing temperatures, which significantly contributed to his death.”

The student was found dead on January 20 after his body was found on the back porch of a building near the university campus in west Urbana in the US state of Illinois. There were signs of hypothermia when his body was found but the exact cause of death was under investigation by the campus police earlier.

Akul was out for drinks with friends on January 20. Around 11:30 at night, he and his friends decided to go to the Canopy Club – a venue close to the campus that they had visited before that night.

The staff at the club denied him entry. He tried to enter the club “multiple times” but was repeatedly denied by staff,” investigators said, adding that he also turned down two rideshare vehicles called for him, Kansas City reported.

Illinois and much of the midwest experienced brutal cold and freezing temperatures in the latter half of January, with wind chills dipping between -20 to -30 degrees.

Several calls were made to him that went unanswered and a friend contacted the campus police to search him. According to police, an officer looked for Dhawan by driving “at a walking pace” near the “likely path” he would have taken back to campus but did not see him.

The next morning, an employee of the university notified police and emergency medical services found of “a man on the back porch of a building”. Police said that he was “dead at the time he was found”.

Akul’s parents – Ish and Ritu Dhawan said their son was found just 400 feet from where he was reported missing based on location-tracking data on their son’s phone.

Dhawan, who turned 18 in September last year, came to the University of Illinois’ Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering to study robotics despite his parents’ opposition, who wished him to be closer to home.

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