In Argentina, at least 20 people have died after ingesting cocaine that was suspected of carrying a toxic chemical.
Officials and local media reported on Wednesday, February 2 that cases have been clustered around numerous communities in the province of Buenos Aires.
Another 56 people have been admitted to hospitals, according to a government source, with more people seeking treatment due to the toxic cocaine in eight of the province’s municipalities.
According to the source, the death toll in the municipalities of Hurlingham, San Martin, and Tres de Febrero is expected to reach even higher.
Many suburbs of the national capital, Buenos Aires, may be found in the province of Buenos Aires, which is the country’s most populous.
According to a statement made by the province’s health ministry on Wednesday, officials suspect some of the victims were suffering from opiate intoxication.
The number of people admitted to hospitals with serious illnesses is “constantly rising,” according to the report.
Following the initial deaths on Wednesday, provincial security authorities detained some people suspected of trafficking the narcotic.
According to several local news reports, the cocaine had been “cut” with a poisonous substance, most likely by a criminal gang attempting to minimize expenses in the midst of a turf dispute with competing gangs.
Sergio Berni, the province’s security minister, told local television that “we are waiting for the laboratory results and the results of the investigations into the people who have been detained.”
In a statement, the city of Tres de Febrero said it was aware of people becoming extremely ill as a result of “supposedly contaminated cocaine” and that it was working with emergency services and hospitals to prevent future deaths.
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