- One man is dead and 12 are hospitalized after a “mass casualty” overdose of what is believed to be the narcotic fentanyl at a home in Chico, California.
- Two police officers who responded to the scene were also hospitalized and released.
- KRCR tweeted that one of their reporters, Meaghan Mackey, was attacked while reporting from the scene and is “very shaken up but is okay.”
At around 9:12 a.m. on Saturday morning, the Chico Fire Department, Police Department, and Butte County EMS responded to a report of a “mass casualty” overdose that killed one man and left 12 injured, according to KHSL-TV.
Mike O’Brien, a police captain in Chico, California, said at a news conference on Saturday night that four of the victims were in critical condition, NBC reported.
“Certainly there’s potential for additional fatalities,” he said at a news conference. “I want to emphasize that.”
O’Brien also said that there is “every indication” that this mass overdose was caused by the ingestion of fentanyl combined with another substance and that it appears that the victims all knew each other. The source of the drugs is not yet known, and the victims have not yet been identified.
Chico Fire Department Division Chief Jesse Alexander said that there were six people receiving CPR at the same time, according to KHSL-TV. Two of the first responders who administered CPR and Naloxone, a treatment for opiod overdoses, were also hospitalized and subsequently released. The scene is being treated as a hazmat site.
Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, according to the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). In 2017, drug overdoses led to 70,237 deaths, and more than two-thirds involved opioids.
Chico Fire Department Chief Steven Standridge called it a “large, mass casualty incident” at the news conference.
KRCR News Channel 7 wrote on Twitter that one of their reporters, Meaghan Mackey, was attacked while reporting from the scene and is “very shaken up but is okay.”
As many of you know, our reporter Meaghan Mackey was attacked while at the scene of a mass overdose in Chico tonight. Meaghan is very shaken up but is okay. We are thankful law enforcement was right there and handled the situation quickly. We appreciate all your kind words.
— KRCR News Channel 7 (@KRCR7) January 13, 2019
Video of the incident was seemingly ripped from a live stream and posted on Facebook. Mackey began delivering a report but was interrupted by someone off-camera saying “this is disrespectful” before the camera falls to the ground and screams are heard.
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