A thirsty man in China had a tragic death after reportedly downing 1.5 liters of Coca-Cola in 10 minutes to escape the heatwave.

About six hours after chugging the drink, the 22-year-old unidentified man rushed himself to the Chaoyang Hospital in Beijing with severe stomach pains and swelling.

According to the local media, doctors who examined the man said he was breathing very quickly. had an extremely rapid heart rate and worryingly low blood pressure.

In the Clinics and Research in Hepatology and Gastroenterology journal, doctors explained that chugging the aerated drink that fast caused pneumatosis, an abnormal condition causing gas build-up in the intestines and portal vein.

Doctors believe that the abnormal build-up of gas blocked the supply of oxygen to the man’s liver, causing hepatic ischemia (also known as 'liver shock') which eventually led to his death.

Qiang He, the lead author of the report, said doctors gave the man medication and 'immediately' set about with procedures to relieve the gas from his body. 

However, despite the efforts, the man died after 18 hours of treatment.

Following the death, a British expert has raised doubts against the testimony given by the Chinese doctors claiming it is very unlikely that the aerated drink was the cause of the man’s death.

"The chances of downing 1.5 liters, or a little over three pints, of a regular soft drink being fatal would be very, very unlikely, I mean, staggeringly unlikely," Professor Nathan Davies, a biochemist at University 
College London told the Daily Mail.

He speculated that a bacterial infection may have been the actual cause, however, further information would be required to make any official conclusions.

"Usually this type of condition is caused because you have bacteria that has made its way from the normal gastrointestinal tract to somewhere they are not supposed to be, in this case, in the lining of the small intestine," he explained.

"It's possible, but not necessary that likely, that drinking a large amount of carbonated drink could have had an exacerbating effect."

"But with no underlying condition, it is very hard to see what could have happened."

Climate change is the defining challenge of our time, which unfortunately is directly associated with the rising frequency and severity of weather-related natural and unnatural disasters occurring on our planet.

Coca-Cola Representational image. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido