NEWS

Veld Music Festival deaths were accidental overdoses: police

07/31/2015 07:12 EDT | Updated 07/31/2016 05:59 EDT
The Toronto police homicide squad has determined that the drug-related deaths of two revellers at the Veld Music Festival at Downsview Park last year were accidental, and has closed its part of the investigation into the incidents.

Nearly one year ago, 20-year-old Annie Le of Toronto and a 22-year-old man from the GTA died after ingesting recreational drugs they had bought at the two-day festival. Thirteen other people fell ill.

The drug squad's investigation remains open, police said Friday.

At this year's festival, police will put out so-called "amnesty boxes," where attendees can deposit drugs without any legal consequences.

On Friday, police reissued a public service announcement the force first released in January in response to what had happened at Veld.

The "Cooking with Molly" PSA warns about the dangers of ecstasy, also known as Molly. Investigators believed that the Veld victims bought the drugs believing they were ecstasy.

"Truly, you don't always know that what you are told is what you are given," Det. Chris Scherk, co-ordinator of the Toronto police Crime Stoppers unit, said in a statement that accompanied the PSA.

Meanwhile, Ink Entertainment, which puts on the Veld festival, said in a statement Friday that each year, it studies and improves its harm-reduction strategies before the next festival.

This year, in addition to the amnesty boxes, medical triage centres will also be placed in more highly visible areas.

This year's festival takes place Saturday and Sunday.

"Immediately after the event, all security and medical related information is collected in order to analyze and learn from each incident," the company said in a statement.

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