Organisers of a popular St Helens music festival say they are "gutted" and "devastated" after two attendees were left fighting for their lives following suspected drugs overdoses.
Organisers of the Reminisce Festival are working with Merseyside Police after a 19-year-old female and a 22-year-old male were taken to hospital having attended the event at Sherdley Park on Saturday, September 8.
Their conditions are currently described as critical. A number of other people have also been taken to hospital with suspected overdoses and are currently being treated by medical staff. The affected individuals are initially believed to have taken MDMA (also known as ecstasy) tablets, although enquiries are ongoing to confirm this.
The festival's organisers took to social media to address the incident, saying: "Gutted to hear this news. Having children exactly the same age, I can't stop thinking about them. I'm just praying they pull through."
They added: "Everyone at Reminisce is devastated by this news and we are working in conjunction with the police in appealing for information."
Forensic and witness enquiries are ongoing and the event organisers are supporting the police with their investigation. Anyone with information is urged to contact police. Detective
Inspector Paul Grounds said: "These are the early stages of our investigation but I want to reassure those affected that we are doing everything possible to identify exactly what substance or substances have resulted in these severe reactions, working alongside the health service.
"We initially believe that ecstasy tablets were taken by some of those in hospital but this is all subject to further enquiries. I would urge anyone else who has had an adverse reaction to any substance make themselves known to medical services as soon as possible.
"Likewise, if you are still in possession of any drugs from the event, please do not take them under any circumstances but let us know and we will recover them for further enquiries to be made. We are also working to identify who was responsible for supplying these tablets so please come forward with any information.
"You may be worried about being in trouble for taking illegal drugs, however our immediate priority is to ensure that nobody else is affected by these tablets. If you have family and friends who attended the festival, ensure they are safe and well and report any concerns to medical services immediately.
"We want to hear from people who know who supplied these drugs or from those who took the drugs and experienced an adverse reaction. You can come forward directly to police or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."
Anyone with information can contact @MerPolCC, call 101 with reference 333 or @CrimestoppersUK on 0800 555 111.