West Point said Friday that cadets were “involved” in what NBC News affiliate WTVJ of Miami reported was a mass fentanyl overdose among spring breakers in Florida.
In a statement, the military academy said it was aware of the incident Thursday in Wilton Manors, north of Fort Lauderdale. The school declined further comment.
WTVJ reported that six people in their 20s overdosed while staying at a rental home.
When paramedics arrived Thursday afternoon, they found four men in cardiac arrest in the front yard, the station reported, citing Fort Lauderdale Fire Chief Steve Gollan.
Four are thought to have used cocaine laced with the powerful synthetic opioid that has a potency dozens of times stronger than morphine, Gollan said.
The other two overdosed when they tried to administer CPR and were exposed to the drug, Gollan said, according to the station.
All six were from West Point, and two remained hospitalized and in critical condition, the station reported.
“These are healthy, young adults, college students in the prime of their life, and getting this drug into their system, it’s unknown what the recovery will be,” Gollan said, according to the station.
He added that the incident was “extremely alarming” given the timing, during the first week of spring break.
“Obviously if there’s a bad batch, it’s normally not isolated just to one buyer, it normally goes to everyone that purchased that same substance from whoever they got it from,” he said, according to WTVJ. “It brings great concern that there could be other ODs over the next couple of days just basing what we’re seeing with the fentanyl that was here.”