KANSAS CITY — Preliminary numbers show Missouri ended the blistering summer of 2011 with nearly 40 confirmed heat-related deaths — the largest number in a decade. Kansas reported 23 heat-related deaths in its first year of tracking them.
In the Kansas City area alone, 20 deaths were related to soaring temperatures this year. The victims included two men who died during an extreme obstacle course event in July called the Warrior Dash. They were 31-year-old Jeff Fink, of Olathe, Kan., and 28-year-old Jeremy Morris, of suburban Grandview.
Missouri's Health and Senior Services Department reported that 11 people died in the St. Louis metropolitan area. Six others died elsewhere in Missouri.
Besides the deaths in Kansas, the state's health agency reported that 565 people sickened by the heat were treated at emergency rooms and other health facilities.