Seven die of suspected overdose at Hanoi music fest

By Staff reporters   September 16, 2018 | 07:14 pm PT
Seven die of suspected overdose at Hanoi music fest
EDM fans attend the Vietnam Electronic Weekend festival in Hanoi on Sunday night. Photo by Dang Khoa
Seven people have died and many others are in critical condition after suspected drug overdose at a Hanoi music festival.

Tay Ho District authorities said they are working on the tragic incident that took place at the Vietnam Electronic Weekend (VEW) festival at the West Lake Water Park on Sunday.

"Initial reports showed that seven people died and many others are receiving treatments at hospitals," Vo Bich Thuy, Tay Ho's spokeswoman, said.

The first eight patients were rushed to E Hospital, a general public hospital seven kilometers away, at 10:30 p.m. One of them died before admission and four died later. Two others died at Hanoi Heart Hospital.

A source from Hanoi police said they do not have the exact number of people affected yet.

"The incident is especially serious," an officer said.

Dubbed the biggest electronic music event ever in Vietnam, VEW was joined by top DJs including Ben Nicky, Yellow Claw and Headhunterz, drawing thousands of fans.

Hoang Hai Quan, a participant, said there were around 5,000 people in the audience, most of them young, stacked in a narrow space with three stages.

"I heard continuous ambulance sirens when I left at around midnight."

The Hanoi incident is almost unprecedented in Vietnam, although drug overdose has been a threat at music festivals around the world.

Last Saturday, a 23-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman died after collapsing from suspected drug overdose at the Defqon.1 festival in Sydney. Two of the 13 hospitalized people remain in critical condition, while about 700 sought assistance on site, Reuters reported.

In 2013 and 2015, two men in their 20s died while attending the annual festival, both of suspected drug overdose.

Video contributed by Dang Khoa

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