Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us »
Festival organisers ‘shocked’ at death
8:30pm Wednesday 4th September 2013 in News
FESTIVAL organisers are devastated over the death of a member of the audience after he took drugs bought online.
The man in his 30s, from Chelmsford, was taken ill at the Brownstock music festival, in Stow Maries, near South Woodham Ferrers, on Sunday and died at Basildon Hospital. His girlfriend was also admitted to the hospital and is still receiving treatment. Her condition remains stable.
Another man, a friend of the couple, also received hospital treatment.
Police said the man who died is thought to have taken the amphetamine-based drug 5-EAPB, also known as Benzo Fury. A former former legal high, the drug was banned by the Government in June for 12 months.
A post-mortem examination and further medical tests will be carried out this week to establish the exact nature of the substance.
Festival director Ralph Broadbent said: “The reason for hospital admission has been confirmed as due to a dangerous substance. Our thoughts are, of course, very much with the family and friends of those concerned.
“Everyone here is shocked and saddened by events. Our primary concern is, of course, for the safety of all festival-goers.
“We in no way condone the use of drugs and have a strict anti drugs policy, with sniffer dogs and searches at the festival entrance.”
A message on the festival website said: “We are devastated a death has resulted from dangerous drugs sold online as ‘legal highs’ at Brownstock.”
Benzo Fury was made illegal while experts assess whether it should be permanently banned.
Crime prevention minister Jeremy Browne said at the time: “Drugs ruin lives and cause misery to families and communities and the use of this power shows how the UK is leading the way in cracking down on new psychoactive substances.
“This order will protect the public and give our experts time to prepare advice, while law enforcers target traffickers.
“Making drugs illegal is only part of the solution, however.
Users of these substances need to understand that although they are described as ‘legal highs’, they are by no means safe.”
Comments are closed on this article.