The chairman of the Hard Rock resort chain claims that “different water” may have been the cause of the mysterious deaths of 13 tourists in the Dominican Republic, including two who died at his hotel.
“The reality is that when people travel abroad, people get sick simply many times by just drinking water that’s different here than what we are used to in the United States,” the hotel owner, Jim Allen, told CNBC’s Squawk Box on Friday.
“There have been seven deaths over the last year and a half and certainly, they will be investigated. We have to wait for the Dominican to come back with specifics on all of those unfortunate passings.”
Forensic scientist Lawrence Kobilinsky told The Cut that the victims’ shared symptoms are “consistent with poisoning,” and methanol or pesticides may have been used. Methanol is often used in counterfeit alcohol.
Vox notes that “consuming even a small amount of pure methanol can lead to pulmonary edema, or fluid in the lungs, and respiratory distress.”
Watch Jim Allen speak below.