Minister: 8 tourism deaths in Dominican Republic not unusual

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The Dominican Republic’s tourism minister says the deaths of eight American tourists on the island this year are a statistically normal phenomenon, not a mystery.

Tourism Minister Francisco Javier Garcia says autopsies show the tourists died of natural causes. He says five of those autopsies are complete, and three are undergoing further analysis with help from the FBI.

With millions of U.S. tourists visiting last year, Garcia says, it not unusual for eight people to die over any six-month period.

The first deaths to make headlines were those of a couple who seemingly died at the same time in the same hotel room. Edward Nathaniel Holmes and Cynthia Ann Day were found May 30. Autopsies found pulmonary edema, an accumulation of fluid in the lungs frequently caused by heart disease. (The Associated Press)

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