Jackson fans scramble for tickets as probe deepens



LOS ANGELES - A total of 1.6 million people scrambled for tickets to Michael Jackson's memorial service, officials said Sunday as the probe into the singer's death zeroed in on the role of drugs.
Organizers of an online lottery to allocate tickets for Tuesday's hotly anticipated send-off for the tragic "King of Pop" confirmed the figure after a deadline to register expired late Saturday.



Jackson fans scramble for tickets as probe deepens
The vast majority of applicants will be disappointed as only 11,000 tickets are available for Tuesday's service at the Staples Center arena, along with another 6,500 to watch a live video feed at a neighboring venue.
Organizers AEG will send emails after 11 am (1800 GMT) on Sunday to the lucky few who will get the tickets, which are all free. The company says it will randomly select 8,750 registrants, who will each receive two tickets.
No details of what Tuesday's service will involve have been revealed, but organizers say the 90-minute event will be a celebration of the life of Jackson, who died on June 25 at age 50 of an apparent cardiac arrest.
The producer of the show told the New York Daily News the service would likely feature performances from stars but would be restrained.
"It will be a celebration of Michael's life (but) we're not approaching it as a TV show," producer Ken Ehrlich was quoted as saying.
"In the future, there may be a tribute to Michael Jackson. This is really a memorial service. It's not going to have all the bells and whistles. We want to keep it low-key."
"People who are watching it, both live and on TV, can expect to see people who have played a role in his life, who will both be reminiscing about him and speaking to the impact he's made," he added.
No details of where Jackson will be buried have been released.
As preparations for Tuesday's memorial continued, investigators probing the circumstances of Jackson's mysterious death are reported to be looking at the role of five doctors who prescribed drugs to the star.
US media reports citing unidentified law enforcement sources say investigators found the powerful sedative propofol amongst a variety of prescription medications at Jackson's home.
An unidentified source told the Los Angeles Times that "numerous bottles" of Diprivan -- the brand name for propofol -- were found at Jackson's home.
The discovery has raised the stakes in the Jackson probe, which widened last week as the Los Angeles Police Department enlisted the support of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.
Propofol is commonly used in hospitals to induce unconsciousness in patients before major surgery. Healthcare experts say it should never be used at home and should only be administered by trained anesthesiologists.
Los Angeles coroners have said a final cause of Jackson's death will not be revealed until exhaustive toxicology tests from his autopsy are completed.
Jackson's family also hired a private pathologist to carry out a separate autopsy but no results of the findings have been made public.
The aftermath of Jackson's death has seen intense speculation about the role of doctors who treated the star.
Police have questioned Jackson's personal physician Conrad Murray but have stressed he is not suspected of criminal wrongdoing.
Associates of Jackson and his family have repeatedly accused unidentified medical professionals of acting as "enablers" by making prescription drugs readily available.
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Sunday, July 5th 2009
AFP
           


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