Dominican Republic Resort Dispenses With Liquor Dispensers
In the wake of several mysterious deaths of American tourists in the Dominican Republic, the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is removing their liquor dispensers from minibars in guest rooms.
Two tourists have died at the Hard Rock in Punta Cana since last year: David Harrison, 45, died in July 2018, and Robert Bell Wallace, 67, died last April. Wallace died after drinking a scotch from his hotel minibar. It’s unclear whether Harrison had anything to drink before his death.
Additionally, at least 7 other people have died at nearby properties, prompting an FBI investigation into at least six of the deaths. Some of the victims died in what appeared to be bizarre — and similar — circumstances, including at least one three others who had a drink from the minibar shortly before dying.
The FBI is not yet releasing further details about the investigations, and has not confirmed that they are looking into tainted alcohol.
Still, the manager of the Hard Rock Hotel tells CNN that they have removed the alcohol dispensers from minibars. GM Erica Lopez told the outlet that she hopes the decision will “provide more tranquility for guests.” She emphasized that the decision to remove the dispensers was made independently, and not as a reaction to the two deaths on the property.
The New York Times reports that minibars at the Hard Rock dispense beverages from large bottles of liquor that hang upside-down in a cabinet.
Reynold A. Panettieri Jr., a physician at Rutgers University who specializes in toxicology, tells PEOPLE that speculation tainted alcohol might be to blame for some deaths is a plausible.
“It is possible for drinks from the minibar to contain a toxin,” he tells PEOPLE, “so if that’s the common denominator, that’s always a possibility.”
According to the U.S. State Department, at least 10 American tourists have died since the summer of 2018 after falling ill in the country — and dozens more have gotten sick.
1) Allude to the recently cited deaths in Hard Rock Café in the Dominican Republic.
2) What’s the suspected cause as per the FBI? How likely is tainted alcohol to induce death?
3) Describe Hard Rock Café’s minibar and its alcohol beverages.
4) How did the hotel and casino company respond to the fatalities? What should they do to get into the core of the problem?
5) Since there have been numerous deaths and sicknesses amongst American tourists in the country, what strict measures and/or protocols should be imposed?
Common denominator - a commonly shared trait, characteristic, or element