US: 14-year-old dies after consuming spicy chip as part of viral TikTok challenge

A GoFundMe page set up for the funeral expenses of the 14-year-old has collected over $22,500


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Published: Tue 5 Sep 2023, 4:13 PM

A teenager in Worcester, Massachusetts, died after allegedly taking part in the ‘One Chip Challenge’, a trend going viral on video-sharing app TikTok, as per media reports.

Harris, a 14-year-old, died on Friday after reportedly eating extremely spicy chips, reported a local media outlet.

Harris Wolobah, a class 10 student, had consumed a dangerously spicy chip given by a friend at school. His mother was called by the Doherty Memorial High School nurse after he complained of stomach ache, the report added.

Worcester Public Schools Superintendent Rachel Monarrez has issued a statement “regarding the passing of Harris Wolobah, a 14-year-old sophomore”.

She said, “It is with a heavy heart I share that we lost a rising star, Harris Wolobah, who was a sophomore scholar at Doherty Memorial High School. As a mother and educator, I cannot imagine how hard this is on his family, friends and teachers. My heart goes out to all who knew and loved him.”

The statement added that the school is “offering counselling and social emotional support for those who have been impacted by this tragedy.”

Police lieutenant Sean Murtha said that the teenager was unresponsive and taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead, reported a local daily.

A GoFundMe page set up for the funeral expenses of the 14-year-old has collected over $22,500.

What is the 'One Chip' Challenge?

The challenge involves eating chips manufactured by a company known as Paqui Chips. The item is made from California Reaper Pepper and Naga Viper Pepper, which are famed for their spiciness.

The California Reaper Pepper, in particular, is classified as the hottest chilli pepper by the Scoville scale, a metric used for measuring the spiciness of chillies. The California Reaper has 1,500,000 - 2,200,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). The Naga Viper Pepper is classified as having 600,000 - 1,382,118 SHU.

A warning on the challenge’s promotional website stated that the chips are intended for adult consumption. The page has also advised followers to seek medical attention in case of symptoms like difficulty in breathing, fainting, or extended nausea.

The company challenges people to hold out eating or drinking anything after consuming the snack to test their physical limits.


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