Suspected drug OD kills 3, hospitalizes 4 in Pittsburgh

By Allen Cone

Sept. 22 (UPI) -- Three men died and four others were hospitalized -- all wearing orange paper wristbands -- after a "medical situation" that is suspected to be a drug overdose in Pittsburgh early Sunday, officials said.

The victims apparently were at an undetermined venue together and then went to a second location at a private residence where they apparently overdosed on drugs, the city of Pittsburgh posted on its website.


The patients, all male middle-aged, were transported to University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Mercy, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. Three of the victims were upgraded from serious to stable condition, and one remains in critical condition, KDKA-TV reported.

Just before 7:30 a.m., Pittsburgh Public Safety posted on Twitter first responders were "investigating a medical situation on the South Side."

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A man was found on 26th and Carson streets at 3:20 a.m. and was taken to Mercy. At 4:01 a.m., one man, who later died, was found in the elevator at South Side City Club Apartments. Two men were found dead in an apartment at 5:38 a.m.

They were all wearing orange wristbands.


Several Pittsburgh venues used wristbands of the color on Saturday night, according to police.

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"To be clear, this was not a case of a tainted drug being passed around or distributed in large volume at a large venue which could have affected even more people," the message on the city website said. "It appears to have been isolated to a single location.

"However, police are concerned about a tainted, potentially deadly batch of drugs in the community. We remind the public not to use drugs. Simply put: You do not know what's in that drug."

Anyone who attended or has knowledge of a party or event in which guests were given orange wristbands are asked to call police.

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Pittsburgh EMS found no problems with the building's air quality and no other residents in the building were in danger, Wendell Hissrich, the city's director of public safety, said.

The building contains more than 40 units.

The apartment's management said the individuals involved in the incident weren't residents there. "It is our understanding that they were acquaintances of a resident in good standing," according to a statement. "It is also our understanding that the group had attended an outside event before returning to the apartment."

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