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Germany: Restaurant death linked to spiked champagne

February 14, 2022

A group of people showed signs of poisoning after unknowingly drinking champagne laced with Ecstasy at a bar in Bavaria. With one dead, police are investigating a case of homicide.

A police vehicle is parked in front of a bar in the city center in Weiden
By the time police arrived at the bar, they found people lying on the ground with cramps Image: Armin Weigel/dpa/picture alliance

German prosecutors on Monday said the poisoning of a group of people in Bavaria was due to consumption of champagne spiked with Ecstasy

A 52-year-old man died and several others fell seriously ill on Sunday night after apparently consuming contaminated drinks at a restaurant in the Bavarian city of Weiden, police said. 

According to initial findings, all of the affected drank from the same bottle they had ordered. Subsequently, they felt symptoms of poisoning.

By the time police and emergency responders arrived, many of the affected patrons had collapsed to the floor. 

Eight people between the age of 33 and 52 were rushed to various hospitals. 

The 52-year-old from the district of Schwandorf died later that night. 

The rest of the victims are out of immediate danger and undergoing treatment, the Upper Palatinate police said.

What did the toxicological tests show?

"There were things in it that normally are not in Champagne," senior prosecutor Gerd Schäfer said. "It had a toxic, a poisonous effect."

Schäfer added that tests showed the poisonous substance "in considerable concentration" in the Champagne was Ecstasy. 

He said it was still unclear how the drug got into the bottle. 

Negligent homicide?

Investigators suspect a case of negligent homicide, a police spokesperson told public broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR).

While there was no suspect yet and no assumption of intent, police are investigating in all directions, BR reported.

Some of the injured had been questioned by Monday afternoon, Schäfer said.

Schäfer confirmed that there was a suspicion of negligent homicide, but he said it did not appear that the poisoning was a targeted attack. He did not elaborate, citing the ongoing investigation.

fb, adi/dj (dpa, AFP, AP) 

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