Bar-Goers Were Poisoned by Ecstasy-Laced Champagne, German Police Say

Bar-Goers Were Poisoned by Ecstasy-Laced Champagne, German Police Say

A group of people attending a bar in Bavaria, Germany, were poisoned over the weekend by tainted champagne containing the drug ecstasy, authorities say. Several people were hospitalized after drinking the spiked concoction, while one person has since died. Police have reportedly ruled out the possibility of the group being intentionally targeted, but no motive has been yet identified nor have any suspects have been named.

According to a statement released Sunday by Bavarian police, the poisoning occurred late Saturday night at a bar in the town of Weiden in der Oberpfalz, involving patrons between the ages of 33 and 52. By the time police and emergency services arrived at the scene, several of the people had collapsed on the floor, and eight were ultimately sent to various hospitals. One of these individuals — a 52-year-old man — reportedly died during the night, but the rest are no longer thought to be in serious danger.

All of the affected people drank from the same bottle of champagne, police said. And when authorities ran tests on the bottle, they found “a significant concentration” of 3,4-Methyl​enedioxy​methamphetamine (MDMA), more commonly known as ecstasy or molly. But they don’t seem to know how or why the drug ended up there. Media reports have indicated that the bottle was brought to the group by the bar manager themselves and opened up at the table, while one of the individuals said to have drunk from it was the property’s landlord. Police have ruled out a “targeted attack” of those poisoned, but are treating the man’s death as negligent homicide.

There seems to be no information available about the symptoms experienced by those who drank the spiked champagne. That said, MDMA is a well-known synthetic drug with both hallucinogenic and stimulant properties. Users commonly report experiencing increased energy, pleasure, emotional warmth, and a distorted sense of time and space. But it’s also known to cause less pleasant symptoms like nausea, teeth clenching, chills, blurred vision, and sweating.

Authorities have ordered an autopsy of the man who died during the poisoning, but they are currently assuming the cause to be drug-related. People do rarely die from MDMA use, though many cases tend to involve more than one drug taken at the same time. And there is some evidence that even a moderate dose can cause fatal overheating under the right conditions, such as taking it in an already warm environment.

Editor’s Note: Release dates within this article are based in the U.S., but will be updated with local Australian dates as soon as we know more.

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