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College initiation ceremony one dead

A university student in the US state of Ohio has died after alleged hazing at a college fraternity’s initiation ceremony.

Stone Foltz, 20, was made to drink a “copious amount of alcohol”, his family’s lawyer told US media.

Hazing is a tradition where people pledge their loyalty by doing something painful, humiliating or dangerous.

Mr Foltz is the second student in as many weeks to die following a so-called frat party in the US.

Adam Oakes, a 19-year-old student at Virginia Commonwealth University, was found dead on 27 February after attending a fraternity party.

Hazing is illegal in most US states, including Ohio, and police are investigating what happened on the night of the party.

Mr Foltz was a second-year business student at Bowling Green State University (BGSU), and a new member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.

The university has suspended the fraternity and has warned people not to speculate on social media.

Family lawyer Sean Alto said the death was “a tragedy”.

“We are actively investigating the facts of the case and will be interviewing witnesses and gathering information to figure out exactly what happened,” he said in a statement.

“Investigations involving hazing are complex and take time, but the Foltz family will eventually know the truth”.

US media report that Mr Foltz was at an event organised by a chapter of the fraternity on Thursday night.

Mr Alto said that other members of the fraternity took Mr Foltz home afterwards. However, concerned about how drunk he was, his roommates called an ambulance in the early hours of Friday morning.

He was in a critical condition in hospital for two days before dying on Sunday.

Mr Alto said the student’s organs have been donated “so that others may have a second chance at life”.

BGSU tweeted on Saturday that it had placed the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity on “interim suspension for alleged hazing activity”, and that it would review the “short and long-term future of fraternity and sorority life at BGSU”.

Pi Kappa Alpha said it was “horrified and outraged” by Stone Foltz’s death, and that it has a “zero-tolerance policy towards… bullying hazing”.

There are more than 200 chapters of Pi Kappa Alpha across the US and abroad, and Mr Foltz was part of the Delta Beta Chapter.

Hazing is banned in many US states, but it remains an ongoing issue at college campuses.

In Ohio hazing is classed as a fourth-degree misdemeanour, punishable with 30 days in jail or a fine of up to $250 (£180)

bbc

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