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NSW Festival Deaths Involved “Very Different” Amounts Of Drugs, Court Hears

Written by Tom Williams on January 22, 2019

The quantity of drugs consumed by five young people who died following recent music festivals in New South Wales appears to have been “very different”, a court has heard.

The inquest into the deaths of the five people following summer music festivals held its first preliminary hearing at Glebe Coroner’s Court on Monday.

As BuzzFeed reports, counsel assisting the coroner, Peggy Dwyer, told the court, “The quantity of pills consumed by the young people who died is very different.”

She said initial evidence suggested one person appeared to have taken up to nine MDMA pills of 77 per cent purity over the course of a day, while another appeared to have died after taking only one MDMA pill.

“Some of the young people sought medical attention, and some did not,” Dwyer said (via Fairfax Media).

Dwyer also said one person who died was consuming both alcohol and MDMA, while others did not drink alcohol. Toxicology results are yet to be issued, however.

Dwyer told the court the inquest could also eventually include the deaths of two other people at music festivals in the state, who died in similar circumstances.

The inquest comes 10 days after 19-year-old Alex Ross-King died after attending the Sydney leg of FOMO Festival on 12th January, and follows other recent deaths at Lost Paradise, Knockout Games of Destiny and Defqon.1.

Acting State Coroner, Teresa O’Sullivan, described the deaths as “tragic” and repeated a NSW Health safety message, advising festival-goers to seek medical help if they become unwell.

“The hot weather in Australia is set to continue,” Ms O’Sullivan said. “There are more music and dance festivals planned.”

Peggy Dwyer said the court could look into issues like water availability, the amount of shade and rest areas and the suitability of medical services, among other things.

“It is clear that members of the public are extremely interested to learn why these young people have lost their lives,” she said.

“There may or may not be recommendations that follow but, if there are, they will be based on the objective evidence, heard in open court, and subject to scrutiny.”

The inquest is expected to get fully underway during the first half of 2019.

Music festivals in NSW are now facing strict new licensing laws following the recent deaths, amid renewed calls for pill testing.

RELATED: Family Of 19-Year-Old Who Died After FOMO Festival Calls For Pill Testing

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