Warning over drug '100 times stronger than heroin' linked to deaths in South Yorkshire

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Police are investigating three more deaths in South Yorkshire as part of a wider inquiry into a spate of fatalities linked to a super-strength drug.

Officers in Barnsley are looking into seven deaths in total, all of which are thought to be drug related - possibly heroin.

South Yorkshire Police says it is keeping an 'open mind' and exploring whether there are links between the deaths.

Warnings issued across the Yorkshire and Humber region suggest batches of heroin may have been contaminated with Carfentanyl and Fentanyl.

Fentanyl is an anaesthesia used to help prevent pain after surgery or other medical procedures and is 100 times more potent than street heroin.

Carfentanyl is extensively stronger than Fentanyl and is used on animals.

The most recent death was reported on Wednesday afternoon, with the two others reported within 24-hours of each other - one on the evening of Thursday April 20 and the other on the morning of Friday April 21.

Enquiries are ongoing and toxicology reports are underway.

Assistant chief constable Tim Forber said: “Officers in South Yorkshire are working closely with investigative teams across the Yorkshire and Humber region to piece together the information we have gathered as part of our enquiries into this series of incidents.

“We continue to work with our partners in public health to raise awareness of the risks to drug users and I would urge anyone who has concerns, or has taken a substance and feels unwell, to please seek medical advice immediately.

“I would encourage anyone with information about those who may be involved in illegal drugs supply in Barnsley or anywhere in our county, to please call police on 101 or anonymously make contact with Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

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