Police arrest suspect in poisoning of five people at Vienna bar

By Calvin Palmer

Five people are in hospital with a life-threatening condition after being offered spiked drinks by a man at a crowded bar in Austria yesterday.

Authorities were called to the bar in the Alsergrund district of Vienna when customers at an ice-cream café across the street saw the five victims fall to the ground, said police spokeswoman Iris Seper.

Officers later took a man into custody after witnesses said they had seen him offering drinks to the victims.

Investigators are still trying to determine a motive for the attack and are unclear as to what substance had been added to the drinks. It appeared to be some kind of narcotic.

The victims — three men and two women — drank freely, apparently unaware that anything was amiss, said Seper.

Police would not say whether the man was employed at the bar or had any links with the establishment.

It is not known if the five victims knew each other or whether the attacker had specifically targeted them.

[Based on a report by the Associated Press.]

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