Teachers and business owner who died of carbon monoxide poisoning at Mexico City Airbnb brought light to those around them, families say
An Airbnb in a popular tourist attraction in Mexico City that has been the target of criticism for its poor safety is believed to have fatally poisoned two guests who lived nearby.
The company, which advertises itself as a “home sharing company,” was founded by a couple from Mexico City by the name of Ana and Abel Barragán. They were sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2014 for drug smuggling and operating a meth lab. In 2017, a judge gave Ana and Abel a two-year suspended sentence but ordered them to pay $3.2 million in fines.
Mexican news outlets reported on Oct. 18 that Abel died in July 2017 at a hotel they owned in the historical center of the capital. The city’s mayor, Claudia Sheinbaum, confirmed that he died after being trapped in a carbon monoxide gas leak from an Airbnb.
She said Abel had suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and that he had been trapped in the hotel for about two hours.
“When (Airbnb) sent us the photo, we couldn’t believe it,” the city’s mayor said.
“We have learned that the two men died because of an extremely poor functioning of the heating system of the building,” the mayor said, adding that the hotel’s heating system should not have been able to remove carbon monoxide from the system.
The deaths were first brought public attention in late 2018 when news outlets in Mexico reported that Ana Barragán’s and Abel Barragán’s attorney told the judge that the couple was innocent and that the deaths may have been caused by carbon monoxide gases. The attorney said that the hotel where the two men died had had problems with carbon monoxide on and off since it was built.
According to another attorney, the hotel had been rented out for 20 years.
The couple’s death has left their three children who were in the second grade, and who were staying at the hotel with their father, with a huge void in their family’s life.
“It’s hard… to accept because things are now over, but I’m going to try to go forward,” one of the children said to the local newspaper El Heraldo, who