Although authorities are still investigating what may have caused the mysterious deaths of three American vacationers at a resort in the Bahamas, suspicion is being cast toward the resort’s air conditioners.
Vincent and Donnis Chiarella were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary at Sandals Emerald Bay. Vincent, 64, was found sprawled out on the floor of the villa he and his wife were staying in. His ailing wife was found on the bed.
“Donnis woke up feeling paralyzed, is what was reported to us, couldn’t move, said her arms and her legs were swollen. And that she could see Vince lying on the floor,” Kevin Rainbolt, another guest at the resort who grew friendly with the couple, said on “Today.”
Donnis was airlifted to a Miami hospital in critical condition.
Her brother is quoted as saying, “When they got to the hotel, the air conditioner wasn’t working. [Staff] were working on it everyday.”
He also said his sister is “covered in rashes.”
Another American staying at Sandals said in a Facebook post, “It sounds like it may have been a fault with the a/c in the unit, causing a toxic coolant leak.”
Bahamian authorities say the other two victims went to a local clinic complaining of nausea and vomiting. They were treated and returned to their hotel.
But the next morning, they were found dead, with signs of having had convulsions, according to police.
They were named by Bahamian police as Robbie and Michael Phillips, both travel agents.
“It definitely gives me cause for concern, just because you want to know what happened,” said Sydney Rosenquist, a guest who had just arrived at the resort.
Pathologist Dr. Priya Banerjee says one thing to rule out would be carbon monoxide.
“I would just go in, take an air sample,” Banerjee said.
In a statement, Sandals Resorts confirmed the three deaths and said they are working with authorities and the guests’ families in every possible way.