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MDMA suspected in deaths, hospitalizations at New York City rave music festival

By Scott Kaufman
Sunday, September 1, 2013 20:05 EDT
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The New York City Mayor’s Office announced today that the annual Electric Zoo music festival on Randall’s Island has been cancelled after two attendees died — and another four were transported to the hospital in critical condition — after apparently ingesting the drug MDMA (a component of “ecstasy” known colloquially as “molly”). Made Event, the festival’s organizers, released a statement:

The founders of Electric Zoo send our deepest condolences to the families of the two people who passed away this weekend. Because there is nothing more important to us than our patrons, we have decided in consultation with the New York City Parks Department that there will be no show today.

These are the second and third MDMA-related deaths on the Eastern Seaboard in a week. On Tuesday, one concertgoer died and two were hospitalized after overdosing at a Zedd concert at Boston’s House of Blues. Another concert, planned for the following evening, was cancelled.

Although the deaths are widely believed to be MDMA-related, autopsies performed on the bodies of Saturday’s victims, Jeffrey Russ and Olivia Rotondo, were inconclusive. It will be several weeks before the results of toxicology tests are known.

Even so, these deaths are likely to renew efforts to deny permits to rave-like events. Following deaths in 2010, the city of Los Angeles refused a permit to Insomniac’s Electric Daisy Carnival.

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Scott Kaufman
Scott Kaufman
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
 
 
 
 
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