News People Festivals inquest widens to take in two more deaths

Festivals inquest widens to take in two more deaths

festival deaths inquest
A NSW coroner is examining six deaths at music festivals and will travel to Byron Bay on Saturday to observe a pill-testing trial. Photo: Getty
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At least two more deaths will be examined at an upcoming inquest into the suspected drug-induced deaths of young people at NSW music festivals.

The NSW Coroners Court on Tuesday heard the deaths of Anne Nguyen and Hoang Tran – known to his family as Nathan – will be included in the inquest that is expected to begin at the Lidcombe court in July.

Ms Nguyen died in October 2015 and Mr Tran died in December 2017.

Their deaths will be considered alongside those of Joseph Nguyen Binh Pham, Diana Nguyen, Callum Brosnan, Alexandra Ross-King and Joshua Gerard Tam at festivals between September and January.

Deputy NSW Coroner Harriet Grahame on Tuesday said “the events of Queensland on the weekend just underline how important it is to have this matter dealt with as soon as possible”.

“This is a really, really tragic public health issue,” she said.

A 24-year-old man and 22-year-old woman were found dead in their tent at the Rabbits Eat Lettuce Festival, near the Queensland-NSW border, on Monday morning.

“While investigations are continuing to determine the cause of death. There are no suspicious circumstances at this stage,” a police statement said.

The festival, which began on Thursday and ran until Sunday, was held at the Cherrabah Resort, inland of the Gold Coast, next to dense bushland.

In a statement on social media, festival organisers said the deaths were “absolutely heartbreaking”.

“All of the staff and community at Rabbits Eat Lettuce would like to pass on our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of those who were found deceased,” they said.

They said they were working with authorities to determine what led to the pair’s deaths.

-with AAP