Drug use may have led to Electric Zoo Festival deaths - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Drug use may have led to Electric Zoo Festival deaths

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The three-day Electric Zoo music festival on Randall’s Island was unexpectedly cut short after two people died.

Sunday was supposed to be the last day of the Electric Zoo Music Festival but after the two drug deaths and others got so sick they’re in critical condition, the plug was pulled.

20-year-old Olivia Rotundo from Providence, RI was one of thousands who attended the weekend music festival that featured electronic music acts, but Saturday night the University of New Hampshire student was pronounced dead after being rushed to Metropolitan Hospital.

Police say 23-year-old Jeffrey Russ of Rochester, who graduated last year from Syracuse University, died early Sunday morning.

City officials say both deaths appear to be related to the drug “molly’—a supposedly pure form of ecstasy or MDMA.

"You’ve got a big problem if you’re taking this drug on a hot day, you’re going to become dehydrated, your heart is going to start racing. You may have convulsions, you may have a heart attack and you may get a stroke,” said Dr. Steven Garner, Emergency Medicine Specialist at Methodist Hospital.

Festival promoters extended condolence to the victims’ families on their website. City officials say at least four other people are critically ill and in intensive care from suspected drug overdoses. But it’s difficult to know how many concert goers became ill and needed medical attention.

The promoters used a private ambulance service that bypasses the 911 reporting system. Dr. Garner says many users mistakenly think if the drug is pure, it won’t do damage.

"There is no safety level for casual users. Those who are taking it are running the risk of having dementia, brain problems, depression later on in life because this alters the normal structure of the brain – there’s no doubt about it.”

The NYPD says more than 30 people were arrested, mostly on drug related charges.

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