Eight people were placed in medically induced comas after suspected MDMA overdoses at Hardmission Festival in Melbourne, Australia over the weekend.
Paramedics at the electronic music festival, held at the Flemington racecourse on Saturday (6 January), transported nine festivalgoers to hospitals across the city.
Ambulance Victoria confirmed eight people were placed in comas with breathing tubes in their throats.
Of the nine admitted patients, three remain in a critical condition, one is in a serious condition, one in a serious but stable condition and one is stable, Guardian Australia reported yesterday. Two have been discharged from hospital.
The Victorian Ambulance Union’s secretary, Danny Hill told the publication that the patients at the festival were “really sick”.
“You had patients with high temperatures – some over 41 degrees and seizure activity. In order to be transported, [paramedics] have to do intervention that is normally left for patients suffering a head injury or a stroke,” he said.
Hill said it was unusual to have a high number of people affected at one event. “I don’t think we’ve seen it for some years, if ever,” he said.
“I don’t think we’ve seen it for some years, if ever”
Hill said he hoped Saturday’s event would prompt a rethink of pill testing in Victoria.
“These drugs are not made in batches of seven or eight tablets,” Hill said. “They’re made in batches of hundreds or thousands so there are many more of these deadly tablets out there.”
The incident has sparked renewed calls to state governments to legalise pill testing, with many saying the scale of the overdoses highlight the urgency of the issue.
The Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA), the social justice non-profit Uniting NSW ACT, plus the Greens, Legalise Cannabis and the Animal Justice parties have all reinforced calls for pill testing.
The ACT (Australia Capital Territory) introduced drug-testing services in 2022 and the Queensland government announced a pill-testing trial last February. However, Victorian government frontbencher Steve Dimopoulos on Monday said the cabinet had no plans to introduce pill testing in their state.
Hardmission Australia featured performances from the likes of Anderex, AniMe, Krowdexx, Miss K8, Riot Shift presents “Dystopia”, Sound Rush, Sephyx and more.
The event was promoted by United Music Events, which has a presence in Europe, Australia and Asia.
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