The three American tourists who died at Sandals Resort in the Bahamas last month were overcome by carbon monoxide fumes, CNN reported on Tuesday. That “officially” confirms the cause of death but unofficially it’s been swirling around as rumors since the end of May.
Sandals Great Exuma
Guests at the Sandals resort on Great Exuma island, in the Bahamas, were alarmed to discover on May 6 that three of their fellow tourists had died overnight.
A fourth had been airlifted back to the states, fighting for her life. Everything from food poisoning to fumes from the air conditioner were suspected. Needless to say, the other guests were way to edgy to enjoy their dream vacations.
According to the official police report, put out by the Royal Bahamas Police Force in a June 28 news release, “At this juncture of the investigation, we can officially confirm that all three of the victims died as a result of asphyxiation due to carbon monoxide poisoning.”
Sandals still isn’t saying much about how that came to happen.
All Sandals Resort management has to say is that they’re already installing carbon monoxide alarms in each and every room on all of their properties. They probably can’t say a whole lot more than that because the police confirm the “matter remains under active investigation.”
The police can assure the public that there isn’t a killer loose. “No signs of trauma were found on the bodies.”
All were U.S. citizens
All of the Sandals Resort victims were United States citizens on vacation. Michael Phillips, age 68, and his 65-year-old wife Robbie Phillips hailed from Tennessee.
Vincent Paul Chiarella, 64, was a Florida resident, which is why his wife Donnis Chiarella, 65, was jetted off to a hospital in Miami. By the end of May, she was listed “in good condition.”
Police Commissioner Paul Rolle was out in front of cameras as soon as the tragedy happened. At the time, all anybody knew was that all of the Sandals victims felt ill the prior evening and sought treatment. None of the doctors picked up the signs of Carbon Monoxide poisoning so they were sent back into their deadly villa.
Both couples shared adjacent halves of a “duplex.” Food poisoning was high on the list of suspects but the individuals ate in different locations. Some sort of fumes from the air conditioner were speculated. HVAC guys quickly shot that theory down.
Now that we know what the substance was, the culprit will likely turn out to be a water heater or some other gas fired appliance which wasn’t properly vented or malfunctioning in some similar way, to allow incomplete combustion to create the deadly invisible gas.
It’s totally odorless and nearly impossible to detect without a special sensor. That’s why Sandals is putting them in now. Maintaining their property properly ahead of time would have been much better.