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Fabric death caused by MDMA toxicity

Jack Crossley, aged 18, died in August from a cardiac arrest after visiting the London club

By Rhian Jones on 05 Jan 2017

As London’s Fabric nightclub gears up to reopen this weekend, an inquest has found that MDMA toxicity was what caused the second death in the venue within six weeks last year.

Jack Crossley, aged 18, died in August from a cardiac arrest after visiting the London club. He had 2.2 micrograms of MDMA in every millilitre of his blood, according to the GuardianThe dose was “well within the fatal range,” said toxicologist Joanna Hockenhull. Crossley’s death came soon after that of Ryan Browne, who, also aged 18, collapsed and died from the same causes at the end of June.

Islington Borough Council then revoked the club’s license after a six-hour debate that found a “culture of drug use” at the 2,500-capacity superclub which “security appears incapable of controlling”. However, the venue announced in November it was to reopen after agreeing to make changes to its management structure and introduce stricter searches, covert surveillance and lifetime bans for anyone found to be in possession of drugs.

Philip Kolvin QC, a licensing lawyer who represented Fabric in its successful bid to have its licence reinstated, has since been appointed chairman of London’s Night Time Commission.

Crossley’s friend, Josh Green, told a court inquest the duo had smuggled crystal MDMA into the venue in their underwear and had taken it intermittently throughout the evening before running out.

Green said Crossley was then offered to buy more from a dealer in the club and they both said yes. It was while leaving the venue at 5.30am that Crossley appeared unwell and a doorman took him to the medical bay, where a paramedic found his pulse to be 190BPM and called an ambulance. He suffered a cardiac arrest while in the ambulance and again at the Royal London hospital. Resuscitation attempts were stopped at 8.58am.

“I believe that the metabolic effects of the drug reaction were so severe that there was nothing else that teams could have done that would have had a significant effect on the outcome,” said the doctor.

Fabric GM Luke Laws said while there would have been no way to detect the MDMA Crossley and Green were carrying when entering the club, that he had taken measures to ensure the club has no dark corners and that staff had been retrained to conduct stricter searches.

Laws told the court “there is a problem between crime and disorder and public health,” and that more needs to be done to warn over the strength of ecstasy.


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