Bahamas Calls On U.S. Lab To Help With Autopsy Report Of 3 American Tourists

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Samples taken from 3 tourists from Tennessee and Florida who died astatine a edifice successful the Bahamas nether mysterious circumstances person been sent to a laboratory successful the U.S. to expedite results and assistance authorities recognize what happened, officials said Monday.

The constabulary commissioner of the Bahamas, Paul Rolle, said officials besides collected samples from the rooms wherever the tourists were staying and the surrounding spot to find whether immoderate contaminants were present.

“We truly privation to cognize what caused this,” helium said.

He identified the victims arsenic a joined mates from Tennessee, Michael Phillips, 68, and Robbie Phillips, 65, and a nonmigratory of Florida, Vincent Paul Chiarella, 64. Rolle declined to supply their hometowns.

Chiarella’s wife, Donnis, was flown to a infirmary successful Florida and remained successful superior condition, Rolle said.

Their bodies were recovered Friday greeting astatine the Sandals Emerald Bay edifice successful Exuma, wherever the couples had been staying successful 2 abstracted villas.

The Phillipses seemingly owned a institution called Royal Travel, and Robbie Phillips, who called herself “The Sand Lady,” specialized successful arranging trips to Sandals resorts. She posted photos of the resort’s formation connected her Facebook leafage Thursday, saying she was determination with her husband.

The mates had 3 children and six grandchildren, according to the institution website.

The samples taken from the victims were sent to a laboratory successful Philadelphia, with results of the toxicology survey expected successful astir a week, Rolle said. He noted that the Bahamas’ Department of Environmental Health and constabulary officers are inactive astatine the resort.

When asked what helium thinks mightiness person caused the tourists’ deaths, Rolle said: “I’m not going to speculate.”

He noted that each 4 tourists went to a doc the nighttime earlier their bodies were discovered and they had complained of feeling ill. He said they went astatine antithetic times and had eaten antithetic things.

Meanwhile, Sandals Resorts said it would not remark further beyond its archetypal statement, which noted that it is supporting the probe and the families of those affected.

“Out of respect for the privateness of our guests, we cannot disclose further accusation astatine this time,” the institution said.

In Washington, State Department spokesperson Ned Price besides confirmed 3 American citizens had died and offered “heartfelt condolences to the families and the different loved ones of those who person passed.

“We are intimately monitoring section authorities’ investigations into the origin of death, and we basal acceptable to supply each due consular assistance,” helium added.

The deaths travel 7 years aft a Delaware household became earnestly sick astatine a edifice successful the U.S. Virgin Islands. U.S. authorities determined that methyl bromide, a highly toxic pesticide banned for indoor residential usage successful 1984, was to blasted and had been utilized astatine that edifice respective times.

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Associated Press newsman Michael Catalini successful Trenton, New Jersey, contributed.

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