How does dry ice kill? 3 dead at Instagram influencer's birthday party as special effects go awry

Russian Instagram influencer Ekaterina Didenko's birthday party turned fatal for three, including her husband, after dry ice was poured into a pool

Three persons died at Instagram influencer Ekaterina Didenko's 29th birthday party on Friday, Feb. 28, in Moscow. Her husband Valentin was among the dead, while four others sustained serious chemical burns and carbon-dioxide poisoning.

Birthday party turns fatal

Ekaterina Didenko, Russian instagram influencer
Instagram/Ekaterina Didenko

It was reported that victims jumped into the pool just as 30kg of dry ice was thrown into the pool to create swirling clouds. The party at the Moscow pool complex was to mark the 29th birthday of Instagram influencer Ekaterina Didenko. She is a qualified pharmacist who shares tips on how to save money on pharmaceutical products and has over a million followers on social media.

Two of the victims died on the spot, while another passed away later in the hospital. Those who died on the spot were identified as Natalia Monakova and Yuri Alferov. both 25. The person who died in hospital was Ekaterina's 32-year old husband, Valnetin Didenko. the couple has two kids.

The 29-year old influencer announced the passing away of her husband and friends in a video. "Valya is not with us any more", she said in the video. "Or Natasha (Natalia). Or Yura (Yuri). I can't tell you anything else. I have signed a ban to disclose any information. I can't say anything. I did not cry yesterday, today I just exploded. I thought it was not true, it was a nightmare."

"Nastya (her daughter) woke up today - 'Where is daddy'?. I do not know what to say to her. She is asking me, 'Why are you crying'?".

Four others suffered serious chemical burns and carbon-dioxide poisoning, The Moscow Times reported. Police have opened a criminal probe into the incident.

How dry ice kills

Dry ice is solid carbon-dioxide, which freezes at -78 degree C. It undergoes sublimation, i.e. it gets converted from solid to vapor, without going through liquid state. When it goes through this process in a place without proper ventilation, and is inhaled, oxygen in blood gets replaced by carbon-dioxide, which can turn fatal. Dry ice also damages skin, if touched directly without protective gear.