Authorities are investigating whether antifreeze-laced bootleg alcohol could have caused the mysterious deaths of numerous American tourists in the Dominican Republic.
The FBI has joined the inquiry as news emerged that at least eight American tourists suddenly fell ill died while vacationing at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and Bahia Principe in the Dominican Republic.
Police are trying to determine if the drinks contained poisonous substances such as methanol, which is commonly used in antifreeze, according to the New York Post. The FBI is conducting blood tests.
Several of the tourists were believed to have drank alcohol from their hotel minibar before falling ill. Other vacationers have also reported getting violently sick while traveling in the Caribbean hot spot, although they eventually recovered.
The Dominican government and the hotels have maintained that the deaths were from natural causes.
A New York Post reporter who traveled to the Dominican Republic “noted the vodka in the room had a strange, potent smell resembling pure alcohol,” according to the article.
Lawrence Kobilinsky, a forensic science professor, said symptoms of methanol poisoning include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea — symptoms that were also reported by some of the tourists.