3 American tourists dead after mystery 'health emergency' at 5-star Sandals resort in Bahamas

Poolside at the Sandals Emerald Bay resort in the Bahamas.
Poolside at the Sandals Emerald Bay Resort in the Bahamas.Gary J. Wood, Flickr
  • Three American tourists died at the five-star Sandals Emerald Bay Resort in the Bahamas on Friday.

  • A fourth tourist, also American, has been hospitalized.

  • Sandals said that the two men and woman were found unresponsive after a "health emergency" was reported.

Three American tourists died at the five-star Sandals Emerald Bay Resort in Exuma, the Bahamas, on Friday morning, the luxury hotel chain said.

A fourth tourist, also American, was airlifted to a local hospital that day, said the acting Bahamian prime minister Chester Cooper in a statement.

The cause of death is yet to be determined, Cooper said. Foul play is not currently suspected, he added.

The son of one of the deceased said his parents, in their sixties, were in the Bahamas to celebrate their wedding anniversary,ABC reported.

Austin Chiarella confirmed his father, Vincent Chiarella, from Birmingham, Alabama, was one of three people found dead.

"I am just so heartbroken right now. My dad was everything to me," Chiarella said, per Newsweek.

His mother, Donnis, who was found with swollen limbs and unable to move, survived and was flown to a hospital in Florida, said ABC.

A spokesperson for Sandals and Beaches Resorts confirmed the news of deaths with "deep sadness" in a statement sent to Insider by email. "Nothing is more important to Sandals Resorts than the safety of our guests," the statement said.

According to the luxury hotel chain, a "health emergency was initially reported" at the resort, where rooms start at $377 per person per night. Medical professionals and local authorities were alerted immediately.

The spokesperson declined to provide further information on the "health emergency."

"We are actively working to support both the investigation as well as the guests' families in every way possible during this difficult time," the statement said. "Out of respect for the privacy of our guests, we cannot disclose further information at this time."

The Royal Bahamas Police Force said in a statement on Friday that officers responded to a call from hotel staff that a man's body had been found unresponsive in a Sandals Emerald Bay resort villa. When the officers were en route, they were informed that a couple was found unresponsive in another villa.

In the first villa, detectives pronounced the man dead and determined that there were no signs of trauma.

In the second villa, a man and woman were pronounced dead. Neither individual showed signs of trauma, but both showed indications of convulsions.

The couple had complained of feeling sick the previous evening and attended a local medical facility to receive treatment before returning to the villa, the police statement said.

The police force is awaiting the results of an autopsy, the statement continued.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with more information.

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