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Family: Woman died 'instantly' in cryochamber

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Posted at 4:15 PM, Oct 25, 2015
and last updated 2016-01-12 16:26:52-05

UPDATE:  Authorities say a Henderson cryotherapy facility where an employee was found dead inside a liquid nitrogen chamber wasn't licensed to operate.
 
The Nevada State Board of Cosmetology ordered the site to shut down Monday because the business didn't have a license to perform skin and other aesthetician services that were advertised.

Clark County said the owners, who couldn't immediately be reached for comment, had applied for a business license in July but it had not yet been approved.

EARLIER:

The family of a woman who was found dead inside a cryochamber at a Las Vegas-area business said she was a happy person and an aspiring nurse.

Chelsea Ake-Salvacion, 24, was found frozen inside a cryochamber last Tuesday, said relatives. 

Investigators have not released a cause of death. 

"The coroner is telling me she died instantly, something she inhaled," said uncle Albert Ake. 

Surveillance video shows Ake-Salvacion close the shop around 8:30 p.m. last Monday, said relatives.

The next day, an employee noticed her car still in the parking lot. She went inside and found Ake-Salvacion's body inside the cryochamber.

Officials said she was in the unit for at least 10 hours.

Ake-Salvacion had joined the company as a facial technician over a year ago.  Although she was running the machine alone, her uncle says it's too soon to draw any conclusions.

"Operator error or she's never done this before," he said. "That is all false, she's done it many times."

Cryotherapy involves exposing the body to extremely low temperatures to help with joint pain and boost metabolism. 

In a search for answers, KTNV-TV in Las Vegas went inside a similar unit operated by a different company.

"The maximum amount of time you can do here is three minutes," said David Levi, owner of SubZero Recovery. 

Levi's clients enter the cell with socks and gloves.  The machine operates by changing liquid nitrogen to vapor.  Temperatures can dip as low as negative 240 degrees Fahrenheit.

The policy at SubZero does not allow an employee to operate the machine alone. 

"There's always a technician in here watching the person," said Levi. 

The danger is you can potentially inhale more nitrogen than oxygen when your head does not stay above the gas level, said experts.

Meanwhile Ake's mother, Patricia, said her daughter was a happy person and an aspiring nurse.

There is a sign on the door of Rejuvenice that says the company is no longer using nitrogen in its sessions. An employee said the change in policy stems from not having enough employees after the incident.

The employee also said all the coworkers were friends with the woman who died and they don't understand exactly what happened to her.

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