PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Several American tourists recently died while on vacation in foreign countries. Three died at the same resort in the Dominican Republic and another couple died after they came down with an unidentified, flu-like illness in Fiji.
“The island is beautiful, and the people who I meet are beautiful,” Karen Kmetic told KDKA about the Dominican Republic.
She visited the island nation for the first time about 15 years ago.
“It was the first time I was at a Caribbean Island and I fell in love with the Caribbean,” she said over FaceTime.
Kmetic has gone back about half-dozen times. With the latest news, she is having second thoughts.
41-year-old Miranda Schaup-Werner from Allentown, PA along with a couple from Maryland, 63-year-old Edward Holmes and 49-year-old Cynthia Day, all died at the Bahia Principe Hotel in La Romana.
All three reportedly checked in on the same day, May 25th.
According to the Dominican Republic National Police, an autopsy showed all three died from the same thing.
Investigators believe they died of respiratory failure and fluid in the lungs.
The hotel issued a statement saying, “We are deeply saddened by the incident at one of our hotels in La Romana and want to express our deepest condolences to their family and friends.”
“If I was planning a trip there, I wouldn’t cancel it but I don’t know if that would be my first pick right now,” Kmetic said.
Pittsburgh area travel agencies tell KDKA some people are now canceling their trips to the Dominican Republic. They say if you are apprehensive about going to a destination, it’s best to travel elsewhere. Wherever you go agencies say you should stay alert to your surroundings.
“I’ve met so many beautiful people there, and I hope that whatever is going on stops,” Kmetic said with a sad tone in her voice.