MP demands curbs on rave deaths disco

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The Independent Online
A LABOUR MP yesterday urged action against a rave venue after a 20-year-old man became the third person in four months to collapse and die in a suspected drugs-related incident.

Andrew Stoddart, of Rigside, Lanark, died in hospital at Ayr, Strathclyde, after collapsing at Hangar 13, a club in Ayr, police said. In April, two other men died after taking the drug ecstasy at the same venue.

The incident is the latest in a series of deaths associated with the so-called designer drug. Victims have included Corinna Williams, 18, one of Britain's leading water-skiers, who died last December after taking one ecstasy tablet at a nightclub in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.

George Foulkes, the MP for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, is writing to Scotland's most senior law officer, the Lord Advocate, Lord Roger of Earlsferry, asking him to take action.

Following the earlier deaths Mr Foulkes had called on the local licensing committee to close the venue. 'I wanted it closed down temporarily and restrictions put on the number attending and an insistence that there should be a number of stewards and they should be properly trained,' he said yesterday.

'But the committee just did nothing. In my last letter I said if any death took place in the future, part of the responsibility must lie with members of the licensing committee. Now tragically that has happened.'

Two other 20-year-olds from Glasgow and Renfrew, also complained of being unwell and were taken to hospital early yesterday. Their condition was not thought to be life-threatening.

Detective Chief Inspector John Corrigan, who is in charge of the investigation, appealed for information from anyone at the rave.

He refused to link the latest tragedy with the two earlier deaths at the club. 'I am not prepared to discuss other incidents until I am certain as to what caused the man's death.'

He added that police had taken the names and addresses of the 1,100 revellers at the club and they may be contacted after the results of the post-mortem examination into Mr Stoddart's death were known.

It is believed more than a million young people attend rave-style events once a week, spending an average pounds 35 at each event.