Police are conducting an investigation into the deaths of three American tourists at a Sandals resort in the Bahamas, with one more American transported to a hospital.
Acting prime minister Chester Cooper released a statement Friday saying “foul play is not suspected.” The cause of death is currently unknown.
Cooper was acting as prime minister for Prime Minister Philip E. Davis, who was absent from the Bahamas at the time.
The incident occurred at the Sandals Emerald Bay resort on the Bahamas’ Great Exuma island.
At a Monday afternoon news conference, the Royal Bahamas Police Force identified the victims.
Michael Philips, 68, and Robbie Philips, 65, were both found dead in one room. The couple was on vacation from Tennessee.
The third victim, said police, was Vincent Paul Chiarella, 64, from Florida. His 65-year-old wife, Donnis Chiarella, was also found in the room alive but unwell. She was airlifted to hospital in Florida and remains in serious condition.
Police found one man “lying on the ground unresponsive” in a bedroom. Authorities reported no signs of trauma and a doctor pronounced the man dead at the scene.
Upon entering another villa, police found a second man and a woman, both of whom were also unresponsive. Authorities reported the couple both “showed signs of convulsion” though there were no signs of trauma. They were pronounced dead at the scene.
The couple had complained of illness the previous morning and were treated at a nearby medical facility.
Police are awaiting an autopsy report to determine the exact cause of death of the three Americans.
Health Minister Michael Darville told Eyewitness News Bahamas on Saturday some resort patrons had visited a clinic on Thursday with symptoms of nausea and vomiting, though they were treated and left. He confirmed a fourth American tourist was flown to a hospital in New Providence.
Darville added authorities have “some ideas” as to what transpired, but he will await the completion of the investigation before making a public statement.
On Sunday, a U.S. State Department spokesperson said they are “closely monitoring local authorities’ investigation into the cause of death.”
Sandals Emerald Bay released a statement confirming the deaths on Friday.
“A health emergency was initially reported and following our protocols we immediately alerted emergency medical professionals and relevant local authorities to provide support and investigate the situation,” the statement reads.
“We are actively working to support both the investigation as well as guests’ families in every way possible during this difficult time. Out of respect for the privacy of our guests, we cannot disclose further information at the time.”
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