SANTIAGO – A tragedy in the center of Santiago: six Brazilian tourists were found dead in an Airbnb they rented. They were about to return to their country after spending a week in Chile to celebrate a birthday. According to firefighters they died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
After a relative of one of the Brazilians called the Brazilian consul in Chile on an emergency number because she couldn’t reach the group, the consul himself headed to the apartment, near Santo Domingo.
“We went up to the apartment, knocked on the door, nobody answered, we asked someone to open the door, and when we entered there was a strong smell of gas. When we found the six dead bodies, we called the police.”
All victims are Brazilian: four adults and two minors, who were celebrating the birthday of one of the minors in Chile. After the bodies were discovered, fire brigades evacuated two floors in the building.
According to a firefighter, high concentrations of carbon monoxide were detected in the apartment, leading investigators to believe that the six tourists suffocated.
Inhaling high concentrations of carbon monoxide, replaces oxygen in the red blood cells. In the gravest situations, this can lead to death.
Watch more on carbon monoxide:
The Brazilians had rented their apartment via Airbnb. The company issued a statement this morning, lamenting the situation.
“We deeply regret this tragedy. We are closely monitoring the situation and are working to provide support to the families of the guests during this difficult time. The security of both guests and hosts is our priority”, the statement said.
“If a guest reserves a place where the host has not yet indicated if they have a smoke or carbon monoxide detector, the Airbnb platform will indicate this to the guest, so that they are aware and can take the necessary precautions.”
Editor-In-Chief Boris van der Spek is the founder of Chile Today. He worked in Colombia, Surinam and the Netherlands as reporter and works with international media during major events, like the social crisis, the elections and the Pope’s visit.