TWO people are dead, three more are in intensive care fighting for life and over a dozen others have been treated in hospital after overdosing on drugs at the Defqon.1 music festival in Sydney.
Emergency services were dispatched to the Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith about 9pm on Saturday after receiving reports of multiple drug overdoses.
It’s understood ambulance officers arrived at the festival to find at least four people in critical conditions. Two of them, a 23-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman had collapsed and were unresponsive.
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They were rushed to the nearby Nepean Hospital but sadly could not be revived and died a short time later.
A third person, a 26-year-old woman, was rushed to the same hospital where she remains in a critical condition, while fourth person, a 19-year-old man was flown to Westmead Hospital where he too remains in intensive care.
A fifth person is also clinging to life in the intensive care ward of Liverpool Hospital.
NSW Ambulance said ambulances were used to rush 10 people to hospital, three of whom were in cardiac arrest.
Of the 25,000 festival-goers who are said to have attended the event on Saturday, police said as many as 700 of them sought help from medical staff on site.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian vowed to do everything in her power to shut down the event and stop it from returning to the state following the “absolutely tragic” deaths.
“We will do everything we can to shut this down, I don’t want to see this event happen again,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“I’m absolutely aghast at what’s occurred. I don’t want any family to go through the tragedy that some families are waking up to this morning, it’s just horrible to think about.
“This is an unsafe event and I’ll be doing everything I can to make sure it never happens again.”
Four people have now died at the Defqon.1 dance festival in Sydney in the last five years.
James Munro, 23, died after overdosing on drugs and suffering multiple heart attacks at the event in 2013, while 26-year-old Nigel Pauljevic died after he was found unconscious in a tent at the festival two years later.
Detectives have set up a dedicated strike force, dubbed Highworth, to investigate the latest two deaths.
Police said in all, 69 festival-goers were caught in possession of various drugs on Saturday, including MDMA, GHB, cocaine and ecstasy.
Of those, ten were charged with dealing, including two 17-year-old girls who police allege got 120 capsules into the venue by smuggling them in “internally”.
A 22-year-old man was also allegedly found with 20 packets of GHB, while another was caught with 300 tablets.
Anyone with any information is urged to come forward and call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
You can report also information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via nsw.crimestoppers.com.au 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.