Fentanyl-linked overdoses kill 3, hospitalize 4 in Pittsburgh

Three people died and four more were hospitalized at Pittsburgh based-UPMC Mercy after a string of apparent drug overdoses Sept. 22, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The victims, all men wearing orange wristbands distributed by Insomnia Discotec in Brookline, Pa., took what they believed to be cocaine, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Five of the victims were found in an apartment unit, two of whom were deceased upon emergency arrival. Authorities found a sixth victim on a nearby street and the seventh victim deceased near the apartment elevator. The hospitalized victims are in serious and critical conditions.

"This was not a case of a tainted drug being passed around or distributed in large volume at a large venue," Chris Togneri, public information officer for Pittsburgh's Department of Public Safety, said in a statement cited by USA Today. "It appears to have been isolated to a single location." 

The narcotics were laced with fentanyl, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. A California man was arrested Sept. 23 in connection with the overdoses and charged with illegal distribution of a controlled substance resulting in death and serious bodily injury. 

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