Three Americans were found dead in their rooms at a popular Bahamas resort on Friday after a health emergency. A fourth was airlifted to a Florida hospital for treatment.
According to Bahamas Minister of Health and Wellness Dr. Michael Darville, a group of guests at the Sandals Emerald Bay were taken to a local health clinic in Exuma last Thursday. They were treated for nausea and released.
On Friday morning, staff at the resort contacted local police reporting a man found unresponsive at one of the guest villas. As the police were on the way to the resort, another man and woman were found unresponsive in a separate villa.
According to police, the victims “showed signs of convulsion.” There were no reported signs of trauma.
Local medical professionals described the deaths as “isolated cases in a particular area.” A spokesperson for Sandals told reporters that the resort is “actively working to support both the investigation and the guests’ families in every way possible.”
Austin Chiarella is the son of Vincent and Donna Chiarella, who were stricken while celebrating their wedding anniversary. He told reporters that his mother woke up on the floor in her villa and could not move. She saw her husband lying unresponsive and began screaming to get someone to come to the door.
Donna was airlifted to Miami and is reportedly still receiving treatment there. Austin said that she told him she “thought she was all right” after being discharged from the Bahamas clinic on Thursday.
Investigators on the scene are now reported to be examining the property’s water heating and air conditioning systems as well as propane supply lines. The Royal Bahamas Police Force has reportedly said that samples from all of the victims have been collected and are being sent to the U.S. for examination.
Bahamas police have identified the other two victims as Michael Phillips, 68, and Robbie Phillips, 65, of Tennessee.
Robbie Phillips reportedly posted to her Facebook page on Thursday afternoon, just hours before she and Michael were found dead. Her post gave no indication of illness or discomfort, describing the setting as “the most beautiful long private beach with clear blue water.”
The Phillips were co-owners of a travel business and according to their website had been named as a “Preferred Agency by Sandals and Beaches resorts.”