• Oklahoma high school graduates fall sick during Dominican Republic trip

    By: Michelle Ewing, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:
    EDMOND, Okla. -

    Oklahoma high school graduates who recently traveled to the Dominican Republic say several people in their group were sickened in Punta Cana.

    According to the Oklahoman, the group of about 75 people, including Deer Creek High School graduates and their parents, arrived at the popular Hard Rock Hotel and Casino earlier this month.

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    But on June 11, about six of the travelers fell sick after having dinner at the same restaurant, Deer Creek Public Schools Superintendent Ranet Tippens told the newspaper.

    "I just woke up, and my stomach was cramping and I was sweating," Bennet Hill told KOCO-TV. "I was freezing."

    An ambulance took Hill and the others who felt ill to a nearby hospital, where they were given antibiotics, fluids and anti-nausea medication, he told the station.

    Now, most of the travelers have returned to the U.S., Tippens told the Oklahoman.

    "The majority did just fine" on the vacation, which parents had organized, Tippens said.

    In a statement to the New York Post, the resort said it was "disappointed regarding a recent situation in which a group of guests became ill after dining at one of our 12 venues."

    The statement continued: “As the safety and health of our guests is now, and has always been, our highest priority, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Punta Cana is regretful that we did not achieve the extremely high standards we set for ourselves."

    The news came amid reports that nine American tourists have died mysteriously in the Dominican Republic since June 2018. At least two of the people who died reportedly stayed at the same hotel as the students.

    In addition, another group of travelers from Oklahoma said they fell sick at a different Punta Cana resort in April, KFOR-TV reported Friday.

    According to NBC News, Dominican officials, who describe the deaths as "isolated" incidents, have requested assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation as they look into the cases.

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