Nine people who are thought to have overdosed on drugs at an Australia Day festival are lucky to be alive, an ambulance official has claimed.
All the casualties remain critically ill in hospital after emergency services were called to the I Am Hardstyle party in west Melbourne on Friday night.
Speaking to media in the city on Saturday, state health commander Paul Holman said the quick response from medical teams and first responders saved lives.
Ambulance Victoria said all the patients were critical and thought to be aged in their 20s
Two people were reported to have almost stopped breathing and paramedics were forced to insert tubes down their throats to help them.
‘They had St John Ambulance there providing first aid, they had a doctor there who was providing intervention,’ Mr Holman said.
‘If they hadn’t been there, certainly some of these young people might not even have got to the hospital.
‘These people were hyperthermic so extremely hot. They can’t regulate their temperatures [and] they were extremely unconscious.
‘They were unrousable, they needed to be intubated and they needed to be ventilated. So they were non-breathing patients.
Nine people are fighting for their lives in hospital after suspected drugs overdoses at festival
The exact form of drugs taken has not been confirmed.
Police are now said to be testing the drugs to find the exact strain of substance taken by the revellers.
‘We are extremely concerned about this particular batch circulating around the community,’ Mr Holman added.
‘These are not drugs, they are poison, And this is what they have done to these young people – they have poisoned them, and they may kill them.
‘So the message is don’t take these substance. They are going to hurt you and they are going to kill you.’
Four people have since been discharged from hospital with the youngest of the casualties aged 17, The Age reported.
The casualties were all taken to hospital across Melbourne after initial treatment was given by St John Ambulance
Emergency services were called to Festival Hall in west Melbourne at around 11.20pm to reports several people had collapsed.
It happened during Australia’s debut I Am Hardstyle festival at the popular city venue and Victoria Police are now investigating.
The event, supposed to be for over 18s, was already five hours in when emergency services were called with partygoers reporting the event was cut short.
Reports suggest eight people fell ill inside the venue and needed urgent medical attention while a ninth collapsed nearby and also had to be treated, ABC reports.
Ambulance Victoria said all the patients were thought to be aged in their 20s and police are now appealing for witnesses.
The event was already five hours in when emergency services were called to the scene at 11pm
A Victoria Police spokesman said: ‘Police attended an event in West Melbourne last night following reports that a number of people were allegedly drug affected and required medical attention.
‘Emergency services were called to the Dudley Street venue about 11.20pm. Nine people were conveyed to hospital in a serious condition.’
A spokesman for Ambulance Victoria said earlier; ‘Emergency services were called to the dance party at 11pm. Paramedics treated eight people in a St John Ambulance first aid area at the venue.
‘A ninth person collapsed nearby and was treated. All nine were taken to hospitals including Royal Melbourne Hospital, St Vincent’s Hospital, The Alfred and Western Hospital Footscray in a serious condition.’
The IAmHardstyle event was making its debut in Australia at the Festival Hall in west Melbourne
Partygoers reported the festival was cut short by the events which police are investigating
The Festival Hall, which recently announced it is due to close, is capable of holding around 5,000 people.
The venue was packed for the event, which kicked off at 6pm and featured six world-famous DJs and international artists with tickets costing up to $120.
Anyone with any information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au the police added
The Festival Hall has been approached for comment by Daily Mail Australia.