British anthrax victim identified

Declan Wallace has been identified as the man at the center of a Blackpool, England, anthrax probe.

The 48-year-old man died after injecting himself with contaminated heroin. With his legs beginning to swell after the injection, Declan was taken to Victoria Hospital where he suffered respiratory arrest, according to the Blackpool Gazette.

"He was taken to Accident and Emergency," Blackpool coroner Anne Hind said, Blackpool Gazette reports. "He had abscesses on his groin and went into respiratory arrest. He was taken to intensive care but died. Because of a little background history it was decided that blood cultures would be taken. The suspicion was anthrax in the blood. The cultures were sent to the Health Protection Agency and they confirmed he had anthrax."

Two residents close to Wallace's South View, Kirkham, home, spoke of their shock.

"Whichever way you look at it, this is a dreadful tragedy," one neighbor who did not wish to be named said, the Blackpool Gazette reports.

"It is quite shocking it happened in such a way-you just don't expect that, and especially not on this street because it is in a decent area," another neighbor said, according to the Blackpool Gazette.

An inquest into the death of Wallace was opened and adjourned at the Blackpool Coroners Office.

Wallace's death marks the eight death across Europe since June involving anthrax-infected drugs.

"We are no different to any other small town in the country," Liz Oades, a councilor in Kirkham said, according to the Blackpool Gazette. "There are small pockets of problem areas but the majority of people are clean living."

Lancashire Police say they are working to take on the drug issues in the county.