Pittsburgh officials say 3 dead, 4 in hospital
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.
Pittsburgh police gather Sunday outside an apartment building where three people were found dead before dawn.