Pitts­burgh of­fi­cials say 3 dead, 4 in hos­pi­tal

The Morning Call - - STATE NEWS - By Alex Hor­ton

The calls started af­ter 3 a.m. Sun­day, with re­ports of an un­con­scious man in the south side of Pitts­burgh wear­ing an or­ange wrist­band.

He was taken to a hos­pi­tal. In an­other call, from about two blocks away in an apart­ment build­ing on the Monon­ga­hela River, a res­i­dent re­ported a man un­con­scious in an el­e­va­tor. The res­i­dent pulled him out and tried CPR be­fore po­lice and paramedics tried to re­vive the man, who also wore an or­ange wrist­band.

He was pro­nounced dead at the scene, Chris Togneri, a city pub­lic safety spokesman, said Sun­day.

Then be­fore dawn, au­thor­i­ties dis­cov­ered a hor­rific scene at the same apart­ment build­ing: two more dead men and three other vic­tims with un­de­scribed ail­ments rang­ing from se­ri­ous to crit­i­cal, Togneri said, and all with or­ange wrist­bands.

Po­lice are rac­ing to piece to­gether what hap­pened and be­lieve the in­ci­dent stems from a drug over­dose, Togneri said. They have iden­ti­fied two venues that use or­ange wrist­bands, Togneri said, but de­clined to name them — say­ing only that they held “con­certs or par­ties.”

“We’re try­ing to fig­ure out where they were last night,” Togneri said.

Of­fi­cials stressed they don’t be­lieve tainted drugs were dis­trib­uted in large vol­ume with the po­ten­tial to harm others. “It ap­pears to have been iso­lated to a sin­gle lo­ca­tion,” of­fi­cials said in a state­ment. “How­ever, po­lice are con­cerned about a tainted, po­ten­tially deadly batch of drugs in the com­mu­nity.”

Au­thor­i­ties have re­leased few de­tails. Pub­lic Safety Di­rec­tor Wen­dell His­s­rich told re­porters that he didn’t be­lieve there was a party at the build­ing, sug­gest­ing that the vic­tims had ar­rived there af­ter a night out.

Air in­side the build­ing was deemed safe, His­s­rich said.

GENE J. PUSKAR/AP

Pitts­burgh po­lice gather Sun­day out­side an apart­ment build­ing where three peo­ple were found dead be­fore dawn.

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