Three Dead, Four Sick After Drug-Related Mystery at Luxury Pittsburgh Building

Barbie Latza Nadeau
Charles LeClaire/Reuters

Three men have died and four other men have been hospitalized after a drug-related “medical incident” at and near a luxury South Side Pittsburgh apartment block early Sunday morning. One of the victims was 33-years-old, according to police, who say all the victims were around the same age and were wearing orange wristbands.

Police say they believe the deaths and illnesses were related to an “isolated drug-overdose event, not a widespread situation,” according to a statement by the Pittsburgh Police Department that clarifies that the incident is not believed to be a case of drugs being passed around a large venue, but rather taken privately.

While they do not believe the incident impacts the larger Pittsburgh population, they do warn of a “tainted, potentially deadly batch of drugs” in circulation.

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that one of the deceased men was found inside the South Side Works City Club Apartment complex elevator at 4:01 a.m. Sunday morning after police found a survivor in critical condition on a nearby street at 3:20 a.m. Two separate emergency calls alerted authorities to the men about an hour apart.

Two additional men were then found dead and three men were found in serious to critical condition inside an apartment in the complex at 5:38 a.m.

Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich told local media that all of the men were wearing orange paper wrist bands, but that there was no evidence that there was a party inside the complex.

Police said there were no initial signs of any drug paraphernalia or needles found during their investigation at the apartment.

Pittsburgh emergency medical services confirmed to reporters that they had checked the building’s air quality but found no problem or danger to other tenants.

Pittsburgh police say they have identified two venues that were handing out orange wrist bands Saturday night and have pleaded that anyone who might have been at either venue contact them.

This story is developing.

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