Unknown drug kills 2 young people at Florida music festival, 57 in a hospital

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An undetected drug allegedly passed around at a Florida music festival killed two young people and sickened 57 others, with one of the attendees describing the concert as “really uncontrolled.” Meanwhile, police are looking into the causes of death.

So far, Florida residents Katie Bermudez of Kissimmee, and Alex Haynes of Melbourne are the only two confirmed deaths. Both were rushed from the Sunset Music Festival in Tampa to a hospital over the weekend.

Haynes, 22, was hospitalized on Saturday, the first day of the festival, and was pronounced dead on Sunday. Bermudez, 21, died on Monday, the day after she was hospitalized, Tampa police spokesman Steve Hegarty said.

“The social worker said, ‘your daughter Katie is on a ventilator. You need to get to the hospital,’” Nancy Bermudez told Fox affiliate WTVT, recalling a 3:00 am phone call from St. Joseph’s Hospital.

Bermudez’s symptoms included high fever and brain swelling, but doctors couldn’t find a way to save her.

“We don’t know [what happened]… They have an autopsy going on,” her mother Nancy said. “The hospital didn’t know; they were bewildered with how to treat this.”

A Hillsborough County Medical Examiner concluded that the young people likely died from an overdose. Police have not provided any information on what drug might have killed Katie and Alex, but tentatively linked their deaths to the Sunset Music Festival, an electronic dance music concert that was attended by more than 30,000 people this year.


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