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Ecstasy fears as 5 die
Two men arrested over 'contaminated ecstasy' deaths
Revellers are warned to be on their guard after a ‘bad batch’ of ecstasy was linked to the deaths of five people.

By Dan Thompson, Richard Wheatstone
23 Jan, 2013
Manchester Evening News

Quote:Two men are being quizzed by detectives investigating the deaths of a man and a teenager who are believed to have taken contaminated ecstasy tablets.

The 34-year-old and 33-year-old were arrested by Greater Manchester Police on suspicion of being concerned in supplying a controlled drug and remain in custody for questioning.

They were held after Jordan Chambers, 19, and Gareth Ashton, 28, both from Wigan, died on Sunday.

Revellers are warned to be on their guard after a ‘bad batch’ of ecstasy was linked to the deaths of Jordan and Gareth – and three other young men.

It is thought that Jordan and Gareth had each taken ‘four or five’ brightly-coloured, heart-shaped tablets that come in yellow, green, purple and blue.

It is understood the pair did not know each other but may have been socialising in the same pubs and bars on Saturday night.

The investigation into their deaths could yet become part of a wider inquiry across the north of England – following five fatalities in the last month.

Merseyside Police confirmed a 26-year-old man – thought to be visiting from Glasgow – died in a guest house in Liverpool on Sunday morning after a night out, when he is believed to have taken ecstasy-style pills.

Last week, Derbyshire Police warned recreational users about a drug known as ‘pink ecstasy’ which is believed to have been involved in the deaths of Charlotte Woodiwiss, 20, from Chapel-le-Frith and Dale Yates, 18, from Buxton, on December 22 and 23.

Toxicology reports have yet to be returned on the men from Wigan and Liverpool and it is not yet known if the deaths are linked.

Now officers have warned club, pub and party-goers across the region to be wary of the bad batch of tablets – or any illegal drug.

Supt Andrea Jones, who is leading the investigation, said: “Our priority at the moment is to make sure no-one else takes these tablets and that we arrest the suppliers as soon as possible. I’d like to remind people of the dangers of taking any illegal drugs, you don’t know where they’ve come from or what they’ve been cut with, and you are taking a big risk with your health.”

Several other people across Greater Manchester have been taken to hospital suffering from similar symptoms after taking ecstasy-style tablets.

A drug amnesty may be held in the area in a bid to get the potentially killer batch of pills off the streets.

Greater Manchester Police have urged people feeling unwell after taking any recreational tablets to go straight to hospital.

Mr Ashton’s partner Catherine Fulton said his death was ‘horrific’. She said the dad-of-one fell ill at the home in Marigold Street, Wigan, and was rushed to hospital.

Catherine said: “It was such an horrific experience. I would not to share that with anyone.”

Daily Mirror story

Quote:The investigation was launched on Monday when officers were called to Wigan Infirmary when Gareth Ashton, 28, died from a heart attack.

He was said to have been sweating profusely during the night while at his girlfriend’s house.

But as he went out into the cold of her garden to cool down he collapsed, then suffered another heart attack as he was being taken to hospital by ambulance.

Police were then told about the similar death of 19-year-old Jordan Chambers at Oldham hospital just 24 hours earlier.

It later emerged an unnamed 26-year-old football fan from Glasgow had also died on the Sunday after collapsing at a guesthouse in Liverpool.

He had taken ecstasy-style tablets after watching his team play against Norwich City at Anfield.

Last night a Greater Manchester police spokesman confirmed two men, aged 33 and 34, were being held for questioning.

Drug squad detectives are also liaising with officers in Derbyshire after art student Charlotte Woodiwiss, 20, from Chapel-en-le-Frith and Dale Yates, 18, from Buxton died on December 22 and 23 respectively.

Last week Derbyshire police, who have arrested 11 people for drug offences following the deaths of Charlotte and Dale, warned recreational users of the perils of using “pink ecstasy”.

Specialist officers in Greater Manchester are carrying out toxicology tests to establish the causes of death for Gareth and Jordan.

Accident and emergency staff at Wigan infirmary have been put on standby for a possible influx of poison pill cases.

Det Chief Insp Howard Millington, of Wigan CID said: “We are very concerned at the deaths of two apparently fit young men.

"It is believed several other people have been admitted to hospital with similar symptoms. It is possible that they are linked and this is something we are exploring.

“Our main concern is that there may be a contaminated quantity of illegal drugs and if this goes unchecked it could result in further deaths.

"The drugs are believed to be ecstasy tablets, heart shaped in purple, green, yellow and blue.

"If anyone is suffering adverse effects after taking one of these tablets I would advise them to go to hospital for a check-up.

"If anyone has any information, I would ask them to contact police as soon as possible. We will treat any details we receive in the strictest confidence.”

Det Chief Insp Millington added: “I would always urge people not to take illegal drugs and remind them that you do not know what they have been made up with.

"They can contain poisons and illicit chemicals that can have potentially lethal effects.”

Supt Andrea Jones added: “It would appear that there are contaminated drugs in circulation and we are working closely with other forces.”

She said Gareth and Jordan both admitted taking drugs before being admitted to hospital.

They had bought the brightly coloured pills separately and had taken four or five each.

Supt Jones added: “There is nothing to suggest that they were bought online, and no suggestion as yet that they were imported.

“We have no idea how many of these potentially lethal pills may be out there.”

Charlotte’s heartbroken uncle Matt Woodiwiss left a message on her Facebook page pleading with other young people not to take drugs.

He wrote: “Think long and hard about how you live your lives… you do not want to run the risk of your families being torn apart with grief like mine."
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Further arrests over 'contaminated' ecstasy deaths
Toxicology tests show PMA drug was 'significant factor' in fatalities, say Derbyshire police

Helen Pidd, northern editor
Wednesday 23 January 2013

Quote:Four more people have been arrested by police investigating the deaths of partygoers believed to have taken contaminated ecstasy.

The latest arrests are related to two deaths in Derbyshire just before Christmas. Charlotte Woodiwiss, a 20-year-old art student, was found dead in a flat in Chapel-en-le-Frith on 22 December. The following day the body of 18-year-old Dale Yates was discovered in a flat in the nearby town of Buxton.

Both are thought to have taken a drug they believed to be ecstasy. But Derbyshire police said toxicology tests have shown that PMA has been "a significant factor in these deaths".

PMA is often sold as ecstasy (MDMA), but is much stronger and can cause a fatal rise in body temperature. It takes longer to act than MDMA and so unsuspecting users have been known to take extra pills, believing the first one haven't "worked".

The drug is also known as Dr Death, Red Mitsubishi, PMMA, Pink McDonald's, Pink Ecstasy, Mitsubishi Turbo, Killer, Double Stacked, Chicken Yellow and Chicken Fever. It has been linked to deaths throughout Europe, in Israel and Canada as well as in other parts of the UK.

Few revellers take PMA on purpose, said Harry Shapiro, director of communications at the drugs charity DrugScope. "Generally, people will take the drug as part of a tablet they think is wholly ecstasy. And, at street level, it's very possible the dealers think it is ecstasy too. But if you look at chatrooms you'll see that more experienced drug users warn people off it because of the dangerous side effects."

Shapiro said that chemists making illegal drugs would usually not manufacture pure PMA because there is no demand for it. "More likely PMA finds its way into tablets through poor chemistry," he explained. "There is no quality control on the illegal drugs market. If the right chemicals are not to hand to make the intended drug, other similar chemicals could be substituted without anybody beyond the laboratory realising it."

Fifteen arrests have now been made in connection with the Derbyshire investigation. A 21-year-old man, a 33-year-old man, an 18-year-old man and a 27-year-old man, all from the High Peak area, were arrested on Wednesday in connection with the suspected supply of a class A drug.

The people who were previously arrested have been released on police bail pending further police investigations.

The Derbyshire deaths have not been formally linked to those on Sunday and Monday of three young men in Greater Manchester and Merseyside, who also died after taking what they thought was ecstasy, but police in all three forces are not ruling out a link.

Wigan plasterer Gareth Ashton, 28, died at Wigan Infirmary on Monday after suffering a massive heart attack. On Sunday, 19-year-old Jordan Chambers, also from Wigan, died at Oldham hospital.

An unnamed 26-year-old died in the early hours of Sunday at a guesthouse in Liverpool.

There has been much speculation that PMA also caused these deaths, but police in Greater Manchester and Merseyside stressed on Wednesday that toxicology reports had not yet been carried out. The postmortem examinations are scheduled to take place later this week.

On Wednesday two men arrested in connection with the Wigan deaths were bailed without charge.

Anybody who puts PMA or PMMA in pills deserves to burn in hell.

I count my self lucky as i spent a scary couple of nights in hospital from those e-happy things that had pmma in them. Im pretty sure i was a hairs width away from a fatal heart attack or stroke.

As much as i count my self responsible for taking a unknown pill, it is nothing compared to the scum that actually produces something known to be so dangerous and then sells it as a party drug claiming to be the relatively safe MDMA.

It really is a disgrace how this keeps happening over and over again.

I cant even comprehend how the family's of these people must feel, and nothing I or anyone can say can be a comfort to them. I really do hope anyone that thinks putting this shit in miscellaneous tablets and selling them to the unsuspecting dies a very horrible death.
Psychmink spotted this on pillreports.com

(26-01-2013, 11:12 PM)Mango Wrote: Psychmink spotted this on pillreports.com


Thanks Mango, that's PillReports Alerts page limited to European (region 2) reports. Useful to get a small view on some of the sh*t being sold on. Not complete, but a start.

Have you made the effort to listen to your subconscious today? 'Your sake' breakz are as amazing as line times or pin mins.

I'm still not sure wether these dangerous pills are heart-stamped or heart-shaped. I'm seeing people saying both, and it's confusing as a motherfucker.
https://drug.cafe Encrypted Messaging & Chat Rooms
https://forum.drug.cafe Forum
[Image: 3ANSKL2.png]

Need to e-mail me?
..indeed, the first reports stated that the pills were actually heart-shaped.. I think that was an error.. round, pellet shaped with a heart imprint appears to be the description now..

[Image: whl6xv.jpg]
On the various reports on PillReports most people are saying the stamped ones are piperazines and the heart-shaped are the ones that contain PMMA.

this is just getting more confusing... Let's just stay away from all the hearts.
except lamb heart, that goes great in a stew.
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https://forum.drug.cafe Forum
[Image: 3ANSKL2.png]

Need to e-mail me?
(27-01-2013, 02:49 PM)Renton Wrote: this is just getting more confusing... Let's just stay away from all the hearts.

that might be wise..

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