Three Americans on vacation in Mexico City were found dead at an Airbnb-listed property that they had rented, according to the U.S. State Department and the property rental platform.
Two men and a woman died due to carbon monoxide poisoning at the property, Mexican police said, according to the Associated Press. They were found unresponsive on Oct. 30 at an apartment in the upscale Cuajimalpa district, according to the Spanish newspaper El País. The State Department did not release details on the deceased or their cause of death, though it said that U.S. officials were providing appropriate consular assistance.
Mexico City prosecutors did not return a request for comment sent late Wednesday. The families of the deceased couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
In a statement, Airbnb described the incident as a tragedy. The company said it had suspended bookings at the property where the deaths occurred. “Our priority right now is supporting those impacted as the authorities investigate what happened, and we stand ready to assist with their inquiries,” it added.
The trio went to Mexico to participate in the festivities marking the Day of the Deador Día de los Muertos. The holiday — which ran Oct. 31 to Nov. 2 — has its origins in ancient Aztec Indigenous traditions and commemorates death as an essential element of life.
The woman involved had told her boyfriend before her death that she felt like she had been drugged, according to El País, which viewed messages between the couple. “Like I’ve taken ecstasy, but I haven’t,” she reportedly wrote. She was also reportedly vomiting and said she was feeling fatigued.
Around the time the three U.S. nationals died, three American siblings vacationing in Mexico also suffered carbon monoxide poisoning, according to a GoFundMe webpage set up by a family friend and local media reports. One of them died. The other two were hospitalized.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas that kills people by slowly depleting them of oxygen. When people breathe in the gas, it prevents red blood cells from carrying sufficient oxygen to critical organs such as the brain and heart. Initial symptoms may include dizziness and vomiting. More than 430 people are accidentally killed by the gas each year in the United States every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC advises Americans to install a carbon monoxide detector in their homes, and to check the batteries every six months. The gas can be found in fumes produced by furnaces, stoves, lanterns and gas ranges, or in areas near burning charcoal and wood. Infants, the elderly and people with chronic heart disease, anemia, or breathing problems are most at risk, according to the public health body.
Robyn Huang and Bryan Pietsch contributed to this report.