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17 are dead and 70 are hospitalized after consuming presumed “poisoned cocaine”. The cases have been situated in suburban towns within Buenos Aires Province, Argentina’s most populated region.
Buenos Aires province, currently host many suburbs of the national capital of the same name. Sources indicate the deaths from the towns of Hurlingham, San Martin and Tres de Febrero will indeed rise.
There’s a race to find the rest of the dangerous poison before it causes more deaths.
Local Authorities have believed that a few of the victims sustained opioid intoxication, as claimed by the Province Health Ministry. Media outlets report the cocaine was “cut” with a toxic substance, likely viciously done by drug gangs wanting to slash the cost during the midst of turf wars. Experts are still uncovering the substance to determine the cause of deaths.
Argentine officials initially reported eight members of the same group had succumbed after buying cocaine Tuesday. As time progressed, the number of deaths rose.
The province’s health ministry said early Thursday “that 20 people had died and 74 more were in the hospital”, with 18 of those requiring mechanical respiration. Argentine police stated the cocaine was sold in the poor neighborhood “Puerta 8” in San Martin, a suburb north of Buenos Aires
The local officials of Tres de Febrero said it was notified of people falling seriously ill due to allegedly “adulterated cocaine” and was working with emergency services and hospitals to prevent more deaths.
It’s urging people to discard any drugs bought recently, especially those with symptoms of confusion, convulsions or loss of consciousness.
“We are waiting for the laboratory results and the results and results of the investigations into people who have been detained”, said Sergio Berin, Province Security Minister.
San Martin Attorney General Marcelo Lapargo described the situation as “absolutely exceptional”.
He told news channel Todo Noticias: “If the situation has escalated and the nature of trafficking has changed to the point where this becomes commonplace, I hope I never see it again.
“The urgency is to remove the poison from the market, to stop it from being sold.
“There must be a lot of people with a bag in their pocket and the number of people hospitalised shows that the most important thing is to stop this extremely high risk.”
Argentine Police detained alleged suspects for selling the drug after first deaths were reported.
Authorities have strongly urged those who might have bought the deadly drug not to use it.