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News (Media Awareness Project) - CN AB: Drugs Linked To Two Deaths
Title:CN AB: Drugs Linked To Two Deaths
Published On:2012-01-23
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB)
Fetched On:2012-01-24 06:05:18

Police Probe Connection to Tainted Ecstasy

Police in Calgary and Nanton are investigating two more deaths from
suspected drug overdoses on the weekend.

And two other suspected overdose patients are recovering in a Calgary
hospital after being taken by ambulance from Nanton on Sunday.

Authorities are awaiting autopsy results before they can confirm
whether either of the fatalities is related to a batch of ecstasy that
has claimed five lives in Calgary and at least five others in B.C. in
the past two months.

Police said they are investigating the possibility a weekend death at
SAIT was drug related.

"Overdoses happen all of the time. Is this unusual? No," said duty
inspector Shawn Wallace of the Calgary Police Service.

"Is it high profile right now? Yes, because of everything that is
going on right now."

The batch of ecstasy that has led to 10 recent deaths in Calgary and
B.C. is believed to have been laced with paramethoxymethamepetamine
(PMMA), a substance five times more toxic than ordinary ecstasy, or MDMA.

In this weekend's cases, the first call for help came in Calgary
around 7 a.m. Saturday when EMS crews were called to a residence on
SAIT's campus for an unconscious 23-year-old man, Calgary EMS confirmed.

The man was dead at the scene, spokesman Stuart Brideaux said.

On Sunday afternoon, there were another three suspected overdoses in Nanton.

One man is dead and two more are being treated in a Calgary hospital.

A 911 call was made in Nanton around 2: 45 p.m. for reports of a man
who had overdosed on drugs, RCMP told the Herald.

The 23-year-old man was rushed by ambulance to High River to a waiting
STARS air ambulance, but died before he could be transported.

Two more men who were with him were taken by ground ambulance to
hospital in Calgary. They were also suspected of having overdosed on
drugs, a spokesman for Foothills Regional EMS said Sunday.

"There were multiple patients on one call," said Jamie Campbell, duty
supervisor for Foothills Regional EMS. "There was one fatality and two
that went to the city."

Mounties said they will work with Calgary investigators, but it was
too early Sunday to be certain if the Nanton death is linked to ecstasy.

"High River is not that far from Calgary, it's unrealistic for us not
to believe a bad drug would not be out here," said High River RCMP
Cpl. Laura Akitt.

"If we believe it's linked, we'll be calling Calgary."

Calgary police announced earlier this month that five city deaths have
been linked to the tainted drug.

The first Calgary case came in November when Alex Kristof, 16,
overdosed at a house party. His death was followed by those of Daniel
Dahl, 18, and Robert Harding, 25.

A 29-year-old and 31yearold also died in late January after ingesting
ecstasy that also contained PMMA.

At least five others have died in B.C., where a coroner confirmed the
toxic chemical was present.

More than a dozen other deaths are now under review by B.C. authorities.
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