Bahamas Sandals guests ‘complained of strong insecticide smell’ ahead of mysterious deaths

Police are continuing to investigate the deaths of three American tourists at a Sandals Bahamas resort, and other guests have now said they have complained of a “strong smell” of insecticide

Michael and Robbie Phillips both died at the Bahamas Sandals Resort
Michael and Robbie Phillips both died at the Bahamas Sandals Resort

Tourists at a Sandals Bahamas resort where three Americans died reported a “strong smell” of insecticide before the death.

Police identified the victims as a couple, Robbie Phillips, 65, and Michael Phillips, 68, of Tennessee, and Vincent Chiarella, 64, of Florida.

Mr Chiarella’s wife was also flown and taken to hospital in serious condition, Police Commissioner Paul Rolle said.

The two couples stayed in separate villas at Sandals Emerald Bay Resort on the island of Great Exuma.

According to Commissioner Rolle, samples were taken from the rooms and from the deceased to determine the cause of death.

Vincent Chiarella was found dead at a resort in the Bahamas by his wife Donnis on Friday morning

Have several vacationers at the resort said NBC News that before the deaths they complained of a strong smell of insecticide.

The police commissioner said authorities would “mandate” a Philadelphia lab to conduct toxicology testing and he expects pathology exams to be conducted on Monday.

The tests will determine if there was contamination linked to guests who said there was leaking air conditioning.

Police said in a statement that resort staff found an unresponsive man in his room early Friday morning.

Sandals resort guests complained of ‘strong odor’



When authorities arrived at the resort, they also found an unresponsive man and woman in a separate villa. Both showed signs of “convulsions,” police said, and all three were pronounced dead by a local doctor.

The couple, now identified as Robbie and Michael Phillips, had complained of illness Thursday night and attended a local medical facility, police said.

Donnis Chiarella woke up last Friday and was paralyzed and her husband was unresponsive, Austin Chiarella told ABC News.

“She woke up and my dad was there on the floor and she couldn’t move,” he said.

“Her legs and arms were swollen and she couldn’t move and she was screaming for someone to come through the door.”

Police continue to investigate the deaths of Robbie and Michael Phillips pictured



Austin also recounted how his mother had been ill the day before and had seen a local doctor.

Health Secretary Michael Darville told local media on Saturday that investigators believe the situation is “isolated” and that the resort is safe.

Another guest at the resort, Chris Coucheron-Aamot, suggested that a faulty air conditioner could have been the cause of death.

“Three of our neighbors in the building right next to us died and a fourth was blown up in critical condition early this morning,” he posted on Facebook last Saturday.

Other Sandals guests blame the resort’s air-conditioning



“There was crime scene tape and security guards all around our unit.

The US State Department told USA Today that it is “closely monitoring local authorities’ investigations into the cause of death.”

A statement from Sandals Resort was released confirming the deaths.

It said: “We are actively working to support both the investigation and the families of the guests in any way we can at this difficult time.

“Out of respect for the privacy of our guests, we are unable to disclose any further information at this time.”

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