The woman reportedly suffered a seizure and choked on a piece of lamington

By Rachel DeSantis
January 27, 2020 12:13 PM
Australian Lamington cake
Credit: Getty

An Australian woman participating in a cake-eating contest on the country’s national holiday died after she choked on a piece of the country’s national cake.

The 60-year-old woman was a competitor in an Australia Day competition at the Beach House Hotel in Hervey Bay on Sunday, 9 News reported.

The annual holiday marks the anniversary of when British ships first arrived in New South Wales in 1788, and is celebrated across the country with various events ⁠— including competitions like the one in which the woman participated.

Competitors were eating lamington, Australia’s national cake, which is made of butter or sponge cake that’s coated in chocolate sauce and rolled in coconut, when the incident occurred.

She reportedly suffered a seizure as she ate and subsequently choked on a piece of lamington.

Witnesses told 9 News that the pub’s security guard and manager quickly jumped in and performed CPR until paramedics arrived, but that the woman died after being transported to a local hospital.

The Beach House Hotel addressed the tragedy in a statement on Facebook, saying hotel staffers were offered “professional support” after witnessing the incident.

“The management and staff of the Beach House Hotel offer our deepest condolences to the friends and family of one of our patrons following the tragic event at our venue on Australia Day,” the statement read. “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.”

Video from the event obtained by 9 News shows competitors consuming cake as a large crowd looked on.