WASHINGTON – Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. is calling for transparency during the investigations into the deaths of nine American tourists.

In a letter to the Department of State and FBI, Pallone requested that bereaving families receive timely updates during the ongoing investigation and for the Department of State to reassess the Travel Advisory for the Dominican Republic so that it accurately reflects possible risks during travel to the country.

Pallone represents the 6th District, which includes Edison. One of the victims, Joseph E. Allen III, of Woodbridge, was from Pallone’s Congressional District.

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“The circumstances surrounding the untimely deaths of nine Americans is heartbreaking, and I ask that you immediately take steps to update the bereaved families and ensure they are given all information on the cause of their loved one’s death as the investigation continues," according to the letter Pallone wrote. "I also urge you to expedite a reassessment of the Travel Advisory for the Dominican Republican to make sure American travelers have a full understanding of travel risk. I ask the Department of State and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to provide our offices with an update on the current investigations of these illnesses and deaths, and what possible steps can be taken to prevent any further loss of American lives.”

Since June 2018, at least nine American tourists have passed away in the Dominican Republican after experiencing heart attacks along with symptoms consistent with pulmonary edema, bleeding, and vomiting blood. In addition, several American tourists contracted life-threatening illnesses and survived.

A copy of the letter is available here.