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Alcohol-drug mix caused organs failure in concert deaths–PNP

/ 03:03 PM June 07, 2016
THE OPEN-AIR concert featured international DJs and drew an estimated 14,000 party-goers at a Pasay City mall.        KARL ANGELICA OCAMPO

THE OPEN-AIR concert featured international DJs and drew an estimated 14,000 party-goers at a Pasay City mall. KARL ANGELICA OCAMPO

Ken Miyagawa, 18, and Eric Anthony Miller, 33, two of the five party-goers who died during a Pasay City concert last month, suffered multiple organ failure caused by a dangerous mix of alcohol and drugs, the Philippine National Police said on Tuesday.

The findings of the PNP’s Crime Laboratory on Miyagawa and Miller are somehow similar with that of the National Bureau of Investigation on 18-year-old Bianca Fontejon, said Chief Supt. Emmanuel Aranas, crime laboratory director, at a press briefing at Camp Crame.

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The PNP found that Miyagawa and Miller had traces of alcohol and MDMA – a substance found in ecstasy – in their specimens.

READ: 2 of 5 concert fatalities died of massive heart attack – NBI

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The medico legal report of the NBI on Fontejon showed that she had ingested two types of dangerous drugs—MDMA methylene homolog and synthetic cathinones. These caused damage to Fontejon’s internal organs.

“Both Miyagawa and Miller died due to multiple organ failure mainly caused by the damage in brain and heart. Pathologists found their brain and lungs were swollen, heart was damaged and tissues in their kidney were damaged too,” Aranas said.

What lessened their chances of surviving, Aranas said, was the drinking of alcohol while on drugs, which made the fatal effect of the illegal substance “circulate in their bodies faster.”

“Based on the signs and symptoms, they had a chance of surviving but it was almost nil,” he said.

He said the effects of taking ecstasy include behavioral changes, hyperactivity, grinding of teeth, memory loss. Because the brain could not handle the drug effects, combined with the effect of alcohol, Aranas said it immediately caused the death of the victims.

READ: NBI: Whatever killed partygoers blew up their heart, organs

Asked if the tests could determine if the victims might have been drug users, Aranas said it was a possibility since both Miyagawa and Miller had defects in the heart muscles.

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“‘Yung findings ng pathologist namin, si Miyagawa may fibrosis o may peklat sa heart, lumang defect sa heart muscles so most likely nagtetake siya before pero nakakaya niya. Si Miller naman may fat necrosis so may possibility na may previous problem sa heart ng dalawa,” he said.

(Our pathologist’s findings show that Miyagawa had fibrosis or a scar in the heart, an earlier defect in the heart muscles, so it is likely that he had previously taken drugs but was able to tolerate it. Meanwhile, Miller had fat necrosis, so it is possible that the two previously had heart problems.)

Aside from Fontejon, Miyagawa and Miller, Ariel Leal, 22, and Lance Garcia, 36, died in the hospital after they fell ill in the middle of the Close Up Forever Summer concert at the Mall of Asia concert grounds in Pasay City on May 22.

Leal’s family signed a waiver refusing to have an autopsy performed. Garcia’s family had asked the NBI to keep the toxicology results private. CDG/rga

READ: Teenager’s parents to sue ‘all’ organizers for drug death in Pasay concert

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TAGS: Alcohol, concert, death, Drugs, Ecstasy, multiple organ failure, National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine National Police, PNP Crime Laboratory
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