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Bahamas police probe food in deaths of Americans at Sandals resort

Bahamas police probe food in deaths of Americans at Sandals


Bahamas authorities investigating the deaths of three Americans on vacation at a resort are investigating whether food played a role in the mysterious cases.

Police Commissioner Paul Rolle said Monday the victims had eaten different things and separately sought medical help after feeling ill the night before they were found unresponsive in two adjacent villas located in the same building at the Sandals resort in Exhuma Friday, the Nassau Guardian reported.

“They were all treated at different times and they ate at different places,” Rolle said of the victims, “so… we’re checking all of that, which we will hopefully be able to determine whether or not it was some food or something else that caused it.”

The deceased were identified as husband-and-wife travel agents Michael Phillips, 68, and Robbie Phillips, 65, of Tennessee, and Vincent Chiarella, 64, of Florida.

Vincent’s wife, Donnis Chiarella, 65, suffered a severe reaction reportedly involving paralysis and swollen limbs, and was flown to a hospital in Miami.

Some guests staying at the Sandals resort told NBC News this week about a “strong odor” of insecticides on the property.
James Keivom for New York Post
Robbie and Michael Phillips
Robbie and Michael Phillips of Tennessee died at the resort.
Facebook/Robbie Phillips

A spokesman at the HCA Florida Kendall Hospital told Fox News Digital that Donnis’ condition was upgraded from serious to good Tuesday.

Rolle said the two couples had gone separately to a clinic in George Town last Thursday, complaining of unspecified ailments.

Blood samples taken from the American vacationers have been sent to a lab in Philadelphia, with toxicology results expected within days.

View of the Sandals Emerald Bay resort villa in which three Americans were found dead and a fourth was airlifted to a hospital on Tuesday
The Phillips and Chiarella couples were found unresponsive — with one still alive — at this villa.
James Keivom for New York Post

“Once those examinations are done, our pathologist would be able to provide us with an official report as to the exact cause of death and help us to determine exactly what has happened,” Rolle said.

Bahamas officials have also collected samples from the rooms where the victims were staying and the surrounding property to determine whether any contaminants were present.

Other guests staying at the Sandals resort told NBC News this week about a “strong odor” of insecticides on the property, which the Bahamian authorities are investigating.

Sandals resort
Bahamas officials have also collected samples from the rooms where the victims were staying.
James Keivom for New York Post
Sandals resort Bahamas
Blood samples taken from the American vacationers have been sent to a lab in Philadelphia.
James Keivom for New York Post

Officials are also looking into possible leaks from air conditioning units and the water heater on the property.





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