LAWRENCE, MASS. (WHDH) - Two people were killed and a third was hospitalized Monday morning in a suspected carfentanil overdose in Lawrence, state police said

A hazardous materials team and emergency crews responded to a home on Garden Street for a report of a possible overdose involving three victims.

Police said crews found two men dead inside. A third man, who dialed 911 for help, was taken to the hospital. His condition is not known.

“The caller said that he felt that he ingested something that wasn’t what he though it was,” Lawrence Police Chief James Fitzpatrick said. “He thought it was cocaine, but said it might have been mixed with another substance.”

The neighborhood was sealed off for several hours and residents were evacuated as law enforcement officials and hazmat workers tried to determine if carfentanil was present inside the second-floor apartment.

Carfentanil is said to be 10,000 times more powerful than morphine and 100 times more powerful than fentanyl. The drug is used to tranquilize large animals, such as elephants. The drug can be absorbed through the skin and a fatal overdose can be triggered by simply touching it.

“This is a tragic day,” Fitzpatrick said. “Unfortunately, we are seeing this way too often.”

The victims’ names have not been released. Substances found in the home have been taken to a crime lab for testing.

An investigation is ongoing.


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