(Reuters) - Three people died and 10 were sickened early on Saturday after using cocaine laced with a potent pain killer in North Carolina, police said.
Investigators said the victims used powder cocaine mixed with the narcotic Fentanyl within hours of each other in Bear Creek and Siler City in central North Carolina, the Chatham County Sheriff Department said in a statement.
A Bear Creek man, Michael Currie, 42, died at his home while Randal Welch, 24, and Perry Saunders, 23, died at another residence in Bear Creek, the department said.
Four people were treated at the scenes and six were taken to hospitals. At least one of the hospitalized was in critical condition, the department said.
Cocaine and Fentanyl, which is used to treat sever pain, are especially dangerous when mixed together, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse.
(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien; Editing by Victoria Cavaliere and Grant McCool)