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.
According to the source, the death toll in the municipalities of Hurlingham, San Martin, and Tres de Febrero is expected to reach even higher.
Buenos Aires province, the country’s most populous, is home to many suburbs of the national capital of the same name.
The number of those hospitalised with serious illness is “constantly rising,” it added.Provincial security forces detained some people suspected of selling the drug after the first deaths occurred on Wednesday.
Some local media outlets reported that the cocaine had been “cut” with a toxic substance, likely by a drug gang looking to reduce costs amid a turf war with rival groups.“
We are waiting for the laboratory results and the results of the investigations into the people who have been detained,” Sergio Berni, the province’s security minister, told local television.
The local government of Tres de Febrero said in a statement it was aware of people falling seriously ill due to “allegedly adulterated cocaine” and was working with emergency services and hospitals to prevent more deaths.