More than 30 people overdose at downtown city park

A city official said more than a dozen people fell ill from suspected drug overdoses on the green and were taken to local hospitals

The Courant said authorities had determined that patients had smoked the synthetic cannabinoid K-2 laced with fentanyl.

Almost 20 people in New Haven were taken to hospital due to overdoses.

"Do not come down to the Green and purchase this K2", New Haven Police Chief Anthony Campbell told WVIT-TV.

The fire chief says the department responds to overdose calls daily, but they've never seen so many within such a short span of time.

He said this was the single largest concentration of overdose victims that the department had experienced.

Alston said drug overdoses in New Haven, as in other cities, are at epidemic proportions and that the city is in the grip of a public health crisis.

Connecticut Public Radio's Diane Orson reports that at least one person has been arrested in connection with the case. "The substance behind these overdoses is highly risky and must be avoided". Alston said many contend with mental health issues, making the drug abuse a medical issue in addition to a legal one.

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The man arrested on Wednesday is suspected of being connected to some of the drugs that caused the overdoses, NBC News Connecticut reported.

"Today's emergency is deeply troubling and illustrative of the very real and serious threat that illicit street drugs pose to health of individuals", Malloy said, according to the Courant.

The victims appeared to be suffering from a "multiple of signs and symptoms ranging from vomiting, hallucinating, high blood pressure, shallow breathing, semi-conscious and unconscious states", Rick Fontana, director of the city's Office of Emergency Operations, told ABC News. As Fontana was talking to reporters late in the morning, the fire radio crackled with reports of two more people down on the green, and police, medics and firefighters ran or drove to aid the latest victims a few hundred yards away.

"He says one of the victims still had some of the drug, which has been sent off to a lab for testing". Authorities confirm the substance was synthetic cannabis and that other drugs weren't involved in the substance.

"There is no playbook", she said.

Police are working to find the source of the synthetic marijuana, which is plant material sprayed with chemicals that has been blamed for overdoses nationwide.

Officials continue to look into the case, which appeared to center on the New Haven Green on Wednesday.

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