Teen dead after Perth Big Day Out
2nd February 2009, 10:15 WST
A 17-year-old girl has died in hospital after collapsing at Perth’s Big Day Out yesterday afternoon.
The girl was taken to the on-site first aid tent before dying later in Sir Charles Gairdner hospital.
It is believed she died after a drug overdose at the Claremont Showgrounds event.
Organised crime squad detectives are investigating the incident, as standard procedure for suspected illicit drug overdoses.
Friends of the dead teenager told police she had taken several ecstacy pills.
It is understood the teenager collapsed about 1pm, soon after being on a ride at the festival.
The girl had reportedly been dropped at the Claremont Showgrounds by her mother.
Friends claimed she had taken a pill before she arrived and then took more as she waited in line because she was frightened that she would be searched on entry.
A St John Ambulance spokesman said officers had taken seven people to hospital with alcohol or drug-related problems.
More than 350 people received medical attention at the Big Day Out yesterday.
Drugs including methamphetamine, cannabis and dexamphetamine were seized by police, mainly as revellers tried to enter the venue.
Overall, 55 people were arrested for drug possession, three for sell and supply drugs, four for possessing drug implements and two for possessing weapons.
There were over 40 people received alcohol infringements which included underage drinking, drinking outside licensed areas and trying to smuggle alcohol inside the showgrounds.
Four people were arrested for disorderly conduct.
Fatal ecstasy overdoses are uncommon, and generally occur when the body overheats and dehydrates.
Users have also been known to die after consuming excessive amounts of water to compensate for the overheating sensation.
However, bad batches of ecstasy have caused deaths in recent years. In 2004, police and health authorities in WA were on alert after ecstasy containing paramethoxyamphetamine, or PMA, was discovered in WA.
Ecstasy containing PMA was linked to the death of a 19-year-old Sydney woman and a string of severe overdoses in the Eastern States.