AT LEAST one person has died and a dozen are in hospital after a mass narcotics overdose at a home in California.
The victims – aged 19 to 30 – all became ill yesterday after taking the powerful drug fentanyl.
According to local reports, an unnamed man died while another 12 were rushed to hospital, with four of them in a critical condition.
Mike O’Brien, a police captain in Chico, California, said: “Certainly there’s potential for additional fatalities.
“I want to emphasize that.”
And the drug was so strong, two police officers, who were responding to the emergency call, also became sick after coming onto contact with the victims.
Chico Fire Department Chief, Steven Standridge, said the pair were “potentially exposed” to fentanyl, which is a synthetic opioid that is frequently mixed with heroin.
Mr Standridge added: “It was a large, mass casualty incident for us.”
Cops were reportedly called to the Chico address at around 9am and treated the overdosing victims, who were all known to each other, with opioid treatment naloxone.
Captain O’Brien added: “It certainly would have been far worse without the response and dispensing of naloxone by Chico police officers.
“Every indication is that that this mass overdose incident was caused from the ingestion of some form of fentanyl in combination with another substance, although that is yet to be confirmed.
“The residence where this incident occurred is being treated as a hazmat site.”