FRAKNKFURT -- A 52-year-old man died after unwittingly drinking champagne laced with ecstasy at a restaurant in southern Germany, prosecutors said Monday.
Other members of the man's party fell ill with symptoms of poisoning immediately after drinking from the same bottle at the restaurant in the Bavarian town of Weiden on Saturday evening.
Five men and three women between the ages of 33 and 52 were rushed to hospital, where the 52-year-old died later that night.
Senior prosecutor Gerd Schaefer said toxicological tests had revealed that the champagne contained a "high concentration" of the drug ecstasy.
The Weiden prosecution's office has opened an investigation into suspected negligent homicide, bodily harm and violations of the Narcotics Act.
Investigators are trying to determine how, where and when the bottle was spiked and who knew about it, Schaefer said.
After drinking the tainted champagne, some of the patrons were writhing in pain on the restaurant floor and screaming in agony, Bavarian radio reported.
None of the seven other people who were treated in hospital are in a critical condition.
According to the Bild newspaper, the champagne in question came from a three-litre bottle that was opened at the guests' table, with some of the patrons immediately complaining of a "chemical" or "strange" taste after taking a sip.
Weiden mayor Jens Meyer said he was shocked by what had happened and called it a "deeply sad day" for the town.
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