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Deaths At New York City's Electric Zoo Dance Festival Caused By 'Molly' Overdoses

Kevin Blair Kevin Blair
9/2/2013 3:01pm EDT

Steve Aoki

New York City officials pulled the plug the third and final day of the 2013 Electric Zoo Dance Festival on Randall's Island after two concertgoers died of drug overdoses and a handful of others became critically ill from drug use.

New Hampshire newspaper Seacoast Online reveals that one of the two concertgoers who died was 20-year-old Olivia Rotondo, a junior at the University of New Hampshire. The paper reports that Rochester, New York resident Jeffrey Russ, 23, was the other fan who died, and authorities say that both deaths came from overdoses of the drug MDMA, aka "ecstasy" or "molly".

"During the first two days of the Electric Zoo music festival, two concert-goers have died and at least four others became critically ill and have been placed in intensive care at area hospitals," a statement from a representative at Mayor Michal Bloomberg's office read on Sunday. "Definitive causes of death have not yet been determined, however, both appear to have involved the drug MDMA."

The effects of an overdose of the drug can cause organ failure from hyperthermia (severe heat stroke), cardiac failure, kidney failure and even strokes.

The EDM festival kicked off on Friday with sets from Baauer and Avicii, while day two was brought to a close by A-Trak, David Guetta and Tiesto.

"The founders of Electric Zoo send our deepest condolences to the families of the two people who passed away this weekend," a message on the festival's official site read. "Because there is nothing more important to us than our patrons, we have decided in consultation with the New York City Parks Department that there will be no show today."

Sets from the likes of Steve Aoki and Armin Van Buuren were scrapped in the wake of the deaths.

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Photo Credits: Tina Gill / PR Photos