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Dead and 14 Hospitalized from Apparent Overdose in Chico

Dead and 14 Hospitalized from Apparent Overdose in Chico

O'Brien says, "It's not a danger to the public at this time, but i do want to emphasize that but certainly in the processing of that scene we need to do that very carefully, because it definitely is a hazmat site at this point".

A 9-1-1 call brought officers to the house in Chico Saturday morning.

A man died Saturday and 12 people were hospitalized in what authorities in Northern California described as a mass casualty overdose on the powerful narcotic fentanyl. "It certainly would have been far worse without the response and dispensing of naloxone by Chico police officers", O'Brien said.

Four of those people admitted to the hospital were listed in critical condition, O'Brien said, adding there is "potential for additional fatalities", Fox reported.

Two officers who responded to the scene also went to a hospital after they said they felt the effects of a drug similar to fentanyl, KHSL-TV reported. The victims-aged between 19 and 30-all seemed to know each other, according to police.

'The amount of fentanyl - these substances are extraordinarily risky and it takes a very minute amount to cause [life-threatening] conditions, ' O'Brien said.

Both were treated and released later in the day.

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"These substances are extraordinarily unsafe, and it takes a very minute amount to cause lifesaving conditions", O'Brien said. Chico police have been equipped with naloxone since 2018.

O'Brien said that numerous overdoses in Chico involve heroin, but not Fentanyl, adding that it's worrying to see the powerful drug in the city.

Officers have obtained a search warrant of the house, which is now being treated as a "hazmat site". It has been blamed for a significant rise in overdose deaths across the country in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 80-to-100 times stronger than morphine, according to the US
Drug Enforcement Administration.

The drug is so potent that two officers who responded to the home started to feel its effects and were transported to a hospital for examination, then released.

Mr Standridge added: "It was a large, mass casualty incident for us".