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Sandals will add carbon monoxide detectors after 3 deaths in Bahamas

Authorities in the Bahamas have not confirmed what killed three American tourists

Sandals Emerald Bay in Great Exuma, Bahamas. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Sandals Resorts said that it has installed carbon monoxide detectors in all guest rooms at Sandals Emerald Bay in the Bahamas, where three American visitors died earlier this month and a fourth became ill.

The company, which operates 16 all-inclusive resorts across the Caribbean, said in a statement that it would also place the devices in rooms at the rest of its properties. Sandals also said it had brought in environmental safety experts to do a “comprehensive review of all systems across the resort.”

“Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our guests and team members is and will always be paramount,” the statement said.

The company’s announcement Wednesday came after local news outlets, including the Nassau Guardian and the Tribune, reported that carbon monoxide had killed the tourists at the Exuma resort. The publications did not identify their sources, and police have not yet revealed a cause of death. Sandals directed questions about the autopsy results to authorities in the Bahamas.

“The information didn’t come from the police,” said Audley Peters, an assistant superintendent of police and spokesman with the Royal Bahamas Police Force. “Our investigations are ongoing.”

Officials identified the people who died May 6 as husband and wife Michael Phillips, 68, and Robbie Phillips, 65 from Tennessee; and Vincent Chiarella, a 64-year-old man from Florida. His wife, 65-year-old Donnis Chiarella, was taken to a Miami-area hospital. Michael and Robbie Phillips owned a travel agency that specialized in Sandals Resorts.

Three Americans die mysteriously at five-star Bahamas resort

“We remain devastated by the unimaginable event that occurred at Sandals Emerald Bay Resort earlier this month that resulted in the loss of three lives, including two members of our beloved travel advisor community, and the recovery of a fourth guest,” Sandals Resorts said in a statement.

The four guests visited a clinic complaining of nausea and vomiting the day before they died, The Washington Post previously reported. The three visitors who died were found unresponsive in their villas, which Sandals said were part of the same structure.

“Despite initial speculation, Bahamian authorities have concluded the cause was an isolated incident in one standalone structure that housed two individual guest rooms and was in no way linked to the resort’s air conditioning system, food and beverage service, landscaping services or foul play,” the company said.

The State Department said in a statement that it was “closely monitoring” the local investigation.

Brittany Shammas contributed to this report.

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