1 dead, 4 in critical condition at mass overdose in California house

Clay Curtis
January 14, 2019

According to local reports, an unnamed man died while another 12 were rushed to hospital, with four of them in a critical condition.

'We were waiting, and have been waiting unfortunately, for this to happen in the sense that we knew fentanyl had been moving west, ' O'Brien said.

Chico Police Chief Michael O'Brien said at a press conference that police received a 911 call from someone inside the residence of a home in the 1100 block of Santana Court about 9 a.m.

All of the people hospitalized were over 18 and most appeared to be in their 20s, Chico police commander Mike Rodden said.

Two police officers who had been exposed to the fentanyl were also treated at the hospital and released in "good condition", O'Brien said.

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As of about 10 pm last night, nine people were still in the hospital, four in critical condition, two in serious condition, and three in fair condition. Officers who responded to the scene administered six doses of the opioid antidote naloxone in the hopes of reviving the victims. "It was a large mass casualty incident for us", Chico Fire Department Chief Steve Standridge told the Mercury News. That home is now being treated as a haz mat site and no one is being allowed to enter without proper precautions. Authorities suspect the overdoses were caused by ingestion of the risky drug and a separate substance that is yet to be determined. It has not been confirmed, but police say signs point to poisoning from fentanyl, an opioid often mixed with heroin or cocaine.

According to The Bee, O'Brien says Chico officers began carrying naloxone (the only anti-dote to a fentanyl overdose) in 2018 but, until recently, it has been used to reverse heroin overdoses.

More than 71,500 Americans have died of a drug overdose in 2017, according to data released the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"'That is changing unfortunately, and now we've had this mass casualty incident... likely to have been cause by fentanyl".

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 100 times stronger than morphine.

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