Boy, 16, dies in suspected ecstasy-related incident at Leeds Festival

Police suspect he took a particular type of MDMA tablet, described as a grey or black oblong shape

Emily Atkinson
Sunday 28 August 2022 21:55 BST
Leeds Festival: Police investigate teenager’s death ahead of closing show
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A 16-year-old boy has died in a suspected drug-related incident at Leeds Festival.

West Yorkshire Police have launched an investigation into the teenager’s death to determine whether he had taken an ecstasy tablet at the music festival that took place in Bramham Park over the weekend.

Officers were called at about 10.16pm on Saturday after the boy, who has not yet been identified publicly by police, fell ill and was rushed to hospital, where he sadly died on Sunday.

The teenager’s parents have been informed, police said.

The force said it was looking into whether the boy had taken a particular type of MDMA.

Officers believe this was an isolated incident.

Assistant Chief Constable Catherine Hankinson said: “Our thoughts are with the family of the boy who has died, and we have officers supporting them at this very difficult time.

“While the exact cause of his death is yet to be established, one line of inquiry is that he had taken a particular type of ecstasy (MDMA) tablet, which was described as a grey or black oblong shape.

“At this moment in time this is believed to be an isolated incident as we have not received any similar reports.

“Users of any drug which is not professionally prescribed can never be sure of their contents and the risks involved with taking the substance.

“Anyone who does feel ill after taking any substance should seek urgent medical attention.”

“We are continuing to conduct inquiries on-site and are liaising closely with the event organisers.”

Melvin Benn, managing director of Festival Republic which runs the event, said he was “truly saddened about this tragedy”.

He said organisers were working with police to assist their investigation and all reports of incidents where drug use is suspected were taken seriously.

“The safety and wellbeing of all our festival goers is always our absolute priority and we remind all festival goers that there is no safe way to take prohibited drugs and there are no safe prohibited drugs,” he added.

Saturday’s headliners at Leeds included rapper Dave, Little Simz and Megan Thee Stallion.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police or security on site, call 101, or visit the West Yorkshire Police website.

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