Three Americans were found dead in a luxury hotel in the Bahamas, and a fourth was airlifted to a hospital, authorities said.
Guests died at the Sandals Emerald Bay resort in Exuma and were identified as American by Chester Cooper, Acting Prime Minister of the Bahamas, who said foul play was not suspected. Cooper is also the country’s tourism minister.
Hotel staff called authorities around 9 a.m. Friday morning with a report that a guest had been found unresponsive in one of the hotel’s beachfront villas, according to the Royal Bahamas Police Force.
Police found the man lying on the floor of a bedroom with no signs of trauma. He was pronounced dead by a local doctor, police said.
Police were then directed to a second villa where a man was found slumped against a bathroom wall, also unresponsive. An unconscious woman was found on a bed, police said.
They both showed signs of convulsion, but no trauma, and were pronounced dead, police said.
The couple complained that they had felt ill the previous night and were treated at a local medical facility before returning to the hotel, according to police, who said they were awaiting autopsy reports to determine the causes of the death.
The identity of the victims has not been released.
Dr. Michael Darville, Minister of Health for the Bahamas, told a local television station on Saturday that he had visited the island with a team of officials to ensure that there were no public health emergency at the hotel.
“We thought maybe we needed to create a makeshift facility, a mini-hospital,” he said, adding that it wasn’t necessary.
“We believe this is an isolated situation that revolves around four people,” he said.
Darville would not speculate on what could have happened.
He said guests who sought treatment on Thursday were suffering from nausea and vomiting. And the fourth guest also sought treatment at a clinic before being taken to hospital, he said.
Darville, in an earlier account, reportedly said a doctor recommended Thursday that sick visitors be airlifted out of Exuma, but they refused. He added that the tourists who died were in their 60s.
A Bahamian news channel tweeted video of a plane he said was carrying an American woman to Princess Margaret Hospital in Nassau.
Sandals released a statement confirming the deaths and saying the resort immediately alerted emergency medical services and authorities to a “health emergency”.
“We are actively working to support both the investigation and the families of the guests in any way we can during this difficult time. Out of respect for the privacy of our guests, we cannot release any further information at this time” , said the statement read.
the the station bills itself as an adult-only luxury hotel that “is the ultimate romantic getaway.” It offers golf, scuba diving, volleyball and entertainment. A week in a villa junior suite this month costs around $10,000 for two adults, according to the resort’s website.