Published On: Fri, May 27th, 2022

Report says American tourists died of carbon monoxide poisoning in Bahamas; Sandals says incident was “isolated”


A Sandals Resort in the Bahamas has announced it will install carbon monoxide detectors in all of its rooms after three American tourists died from an unexplained illness, which it called an “isolated incident.” The official toxicology report and autopsies have yet to be released, but local media in the Bahamas have reported that all three died from carbon monoxide poisoning, CBS Miami reports

The three Americans died at the Sandals Emerald Bay resort in Exuma in May. One other tourist fell ill, but has begun to recover after being airlifted to a hospital. 

“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,” Sandals Resort said in a statement Friday. “Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our guests and team members is and will always be paramount. It is for this reason that we have taken additional measures such as engaging environmental safety experts for a comprehensive review of all systems across the resort.”

Sandals Emerald Bay Celebrity Golf Tournament & Awards Ceremony
Sandals Emerald Bay Resort. 

Dimitrios Kambouris


The company has installed carbon monoxide detectors in all rooms at the Sandals Emerald Bay Resort, and have planned to install detectors in all Sandals rooms throughout their “portfolio.”

A lab in Philadelphia is currently working to expedite toxicology reports from the victims to help authorities understand what took place at the resort. The reports, including the autopsies of all three victims, are expected to be released soon, CBS Miami reports

Bahamas Police commissioner Paul Rolle identified the three deceased Americans as Michael Phillips, 68, wife Robbie Phillips, 65, of Tennessee, and Vincent Paul Chiarella, 64, of Florida. Chiarella’s wife, Donnis, fell ill and was airlifted to a Florida hospital, where she continues to recover, according to Sandals. 

Rolle refused to speculate on what might have made the tourists ill, but medical officials and police said they do not suspect foul play. 

“It’s certainly very irregular,” CBS News medical contributor Dr. David Agus said.

Seven years ago, another round of American tourists fell ill at a resort in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where authorities discovered was caused by indoor use of the pesticide methyl bromide, which had been banned in 1984 but was still used at the resort. Following their recovery, the Delaware family received an $87 million settlement from the pesticide’s parent company. 



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