Ecstasy fear as two die at raves

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Police are investigating the deaths at the weekend of two young people who may have taken the drug ecstasy.

Early yesterday, a 17-year-old boy died just five hours after collapsing at a rave party in Skegness, Lincolnshire. John Wainwright died in hospital after lapsing into a "semi-conscious state", according to police.

Inspector Graham Marsh, of the Lincolnshire force, said initial inquiries suggested the teenager from Grimsby had taken an ecstasy tablet. "We suspect from our inquiries so far that this is the result of taking an illegal substance. Although the post-mortem examination has not been conducted, from inquiries we have carried out so far, we believe that substance may be ecstasy."

Det Insp Martin Bontoft, who accompanied John's parents when they formally identified their son's body, said: "There seems to be little doubt he has taken drugs. The parents are grief-stricken. I don't think the shock has sunk in yet, but what can you say?

He added: "The nature of the death is a classic reaction of the body to ecstasy and I would be surprised if it turned out to be anything else."

A spokesman for the Active Corporation, which organised the event at the Fantasy Island complex in Ingoldmells, near Skegness, said :"There is very little to say at this time and we will not be issuing a statement until tomorrow." The rave is believed to have been attended by 300 partygoers.

In a separate incident, a man - believed to be aged between 20 and 22 years old - was taken to hospital from an all-night rave event in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, but attempts to revive him failed and he was certified dead at 11.25pm on Saturday. The coroner has been informed.