As many as 76 people overdosed on what's believed to have been synthetic marijuana at or near a CT city park as fellow parkgoers watched in horror. Investigators are trying to determine exactly what sickened them and tens of other victims.
Since Tuesday night, the sirens had been going all day around the New Haven green and at Yale New Haven Hospital.
No deaths have been reported, but two individuals had severe symptoms.
"We heard from people on the green this morning that it potentially included PCP", she said at the news conference.
A suspected drug dealer has been arrested after more than 70 people overdosed in the space of 24 hours in CT.
Synthetic opiates like fentanyl, which is 30-50 times more potent than heroin, are extremely unsafe, with high risks of overdose and death.
Bridgeport Police Chief AJ Perez says his department made a push to get rid of K2, also known as spice, five years ago.
Police said they arrested a person of interest in connection with the mass overdose.
"With the exception of one patient, thus far, the illnesses are largely not life-threatening and concentrated to a portion of the New Haven green", Hartman said.
He said authorities have been treating and sometimes transporting six or seven people at one time and the actions of first responders have been "lifesaving". Three of the people who overdosed died after taking cocaine that had been laced with fentanyl, over a dozen others were hospitalized.
Victims were given several doses of naloxone, an antidoe for narcotic overdoses, both on the scene and at the hospital.
Victims displayed a multitude of symptoms, including "vomiting, hallucinating, high blood pressure, shallow breathing, semi-conscious and unconscious states", according to Rick Fontana, director of the city's Office of Emergency Operations.
A similar, but smaller overdose incident, played out on the Green on July 4, when more than a dozen people became sick from synthetic marijuana, according to the Associated Press. "The substance behind these overdoses is highly risky and must be avoided".
The 16-acre Green, which the National Park Service says dates back to 1638 and is one of the oldest in New England, is a focal point of downtown New Haven.
Gov. Dannel Malloy said Wednesday that the state Department of Public Health and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services were assisting New Haven with the rash of overdoses.