An inquiry into the mysterious deaths of four foreign tourists and a tour guide in the resort city of Chiang Mai, Thailand has concluded that they were likely exposed to a deadly pesticide in their hotel.
According to Thailand's Department of Disease Control, the hotel was likely using pest control chemicals to curb a rat or bug infestation that were so strong they killed the travelers. The four deaths, which occurred in January and February, spread justifiable concerns that Thai hotels might be putting their guests at risk.
Agence France Press reports that pinpointing the specific toxin that killed the tourists and the guide may be difficult because their bodies were not immediately tested.
The deaths began on January 11, when a 33-year-old American woman died and her Canadian companion was hospitalized. On February 3, a Thai guide was found dead in her room in the Downtown Inn and three young New Zealanders staying next door became sick. One of the kiwis died a few days later.
On February 19, an elderly British man and his wife were also found dead in the Downtown Inn.
The Downtown Inn, which is a small hotel for budget travelers, remains open.