Three American tourists died from carbon monoxide poisoning last month while staying in an Airbnb rental in Mexico City, officials said.
The three were staying in a rented apartment in a condominium complex in the La Rosita neighborhood when they were found dead on Oct. 30, according to Mexico City’s attorney general’s office, which is investigating the deaths.
The victims were identified by relatives as Kandace Florence and Jordan Marshall – both originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia – and Courtez Hall, who was a schoolteacher in New Orleans.
The three friends were in town for the Day of the Dead celebrations when Florence called her boyfriend and said she wasn’t feeling well, Florence’s parents told Good Morning America.
“She said, ‘I was throwing up and I was dizzy and my legs were shaking,'” said her mother, Freida Florence.
Marshall’s sister, Jasmine Marshall, told Good Morning America that she received a message on Instagram from Florence’s boyfriend saying he couldn’t reach Florence for the rest of the day after that call.
“So that worried him,” she said. “So he contacted the Airbnb host to do a social check and no one responded.”
Security guards at the complex detected an intense smell of gas in the apartment and poisoning from gas inhalation was initially suspected, the attorney general’s office said in a statement this week. Blood tests showed the three Americans — two men and a woman — died of carbon monoxide poisoning, the bureau said.
Investigators discovered a fault in the apartment’s gas boiler, which emitted a smell of gas as well as carbon monoxide, a colorless and odorless gas, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office told ABC News.
One of the victims was found dead in the bathroom trying to take a shower, which could have activated the boiler, the spokesman said.
An Airbnb spokesman confirmed that the three Americans were staying in a room listed on its platform.
“This is a terrible tragedy and our thoughts are with the families and loved ones who are dealing with this profound loss,” an Airbnb spokesman said in a statement to ABC News. “Our priority now is to support those affected while the authorities investigate what happened and we stand available to cooperate in any way we can with the investigation.”
The US Embassy in Mexico said it was “closely following” the investigation into the deaths of three US citizens in the country.
“We stand ready to provide any reasonable consular assistance,” it said in a statement earlier this week. “Out of respect for the families’ privacy, we have nothing further to add at this time.”
The three deaths come after another American died of carbon monoxide poisoning at a Mexico City vacation rental late last month, the victim’s family told San Diego ABC station KGTV. The woman’s two siblings were also hospitalized for carbon monoxide poisoning, her family told the broadcaster.
Three American tourists found dead at a resort in the Bahamas in May also died of carbon monoxide poisoning, officials said.
Victims’ families are calling for more regulation on working carbon monoxide detectors in rental properties.
“We will fight to see the mandates implemented so that no other family has to deal with this kind of brokenness and heartbreak,” Marshall’s mother, Jennifer Marshall, told Good Morning America.