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Michael Jackson: Cause of death could take weeks to determine

Michael Jackson

Story by Jack Foley

THE cause of Michael Jackson’s death could take several weeks to determine, a coroner has said.

An autopsy was conducted on Friday (June 26, 2009) but failed to conclusively establish what killed the singer. It means that further tests are required that could take up to six weeks to provide results.

However, the LA coroner did rule out foul play or trauma in the death of Michael Jackson, who died on Thursday (June 25) at the age of 50.

As speculation surrounding the singer’s death continued to build in the wake of the tragedy, Craig Harvey, a spokesman for Los Angeles County coroner’s office, also revealed that police had put a security hold on the case, limiting the amount of information that can be released.

He added a three-hour autopsy had been held but the cause of death had been deferred.

“It means that the medical examiner ordered additional testing such as toxicology and other studies,” Mr Harvey said, which would yield more conclusive results with a view to being able to close the case in about four to six weeks.

Jackson, who had a history of health problems, collapsed at his Los Angeles home around midday on Thursday. He was pronounced dead two hours later at the UCLA medical centre.

However, a recording of the emergency telephone call made to emergency services has been released, in which the unnamed caller said Jackson was unconscious and had stopped breathing.

It was also revealed that the singer’s personal doctor – who witnessed the collapse -had been on hand to attempt a revival, but his efforts were to prove fruitless.

Jackson’s brother, Jermaine, said he was believed to have suffered a cardiac arrest.

Tributes have continued to be paid to the singer from fans, world leaders and everyone associated with the music and entertainment industry. This weekend’s Glastonbury Festival has also been alive with tributes from both fans and performing acts.

Read some of the world’s tributes