Seventh heroin user dies

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

STREET heroin up to 80 per cent pure was last night blamed for the deaths of at least seven addicts in Avon and Somerset. The latest victim was Samantha Bultitude, 21, who died in hospital on Wednesday night after collapsing outside a squat in St Paul's, Bristol.

A police chief said he was astonished that users were still buying heroin in St Paul's after the spate of deaths. Chief Inspector Peter Wills said a rogue batch of the drug was believed to be responsible for killing three people in the city in recent weeks. They were also investigating a possible link to the death of a teenage boy last week.

Analysis had revealed that the batch was 63 per cent pure - more than 50 per cent stronger than normal street-level drugs.

Mr Wills said there had been five further heroin deaths in the area since August, including four connected to heroin of 80 per cent purity. It was not yet know if that was from the same rogue batch.