By Shay O’Connor
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NEW ORLEANS (WDSU) — A news conference was held Thursday with the mothers who lost their children to carbon monoxide poisoning in an Airbnb in Mexico last month.
Courtez Hall’s parents, Jordan Marshall and Kandace Florence, along with a lawyer, discussed the investigation and the mothers’ request for carbon monoxide detectors at all Airbnb properties.
The families plan to file a lawsuit against Airbnb just a month after the deaths of three tourists in the apartment they rented in Mexico.
Lawyers for the families have requested a meeting with Airbnb officials to discuss a mandate for detectors at their properties. The families are also demanding an FBI investigation into their children’s deaths.
The moms are also urging anyone renting an Airbnb ahead of the holiday season to check their properties for working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
According to the attorney representing the families, Airbnb does not mandate carbon monoxide detectors in their listed properties.
Hall was a social studies teacher at Kipp Morial School, and his mother said she received her son’s dreaded death cry on his birthday.
Airbnb has not confirmed the reports of carbon monoxide exposure, saying it is suspending this listing in Mexico City and canceling all pending reservations.
Airbnb released this statement to WDSU:
“This is a terrible tragedy and our thoughts are with the families and loved ones who are grieving such an unimaginable loss. Our priority right now is to support those affected while authorities investigate what happened and we stand ready to assist with their investigations in any way we can.”
We have suspended listing and canceled pending reservations while we investigate. We are in contact with the host and offer our support. We have contacted the US Embassy regarding this tragedy. We can report the following about our work on CO detectors:
Our global teams work every day to promote safe travel for our community. We run a global detector program and are giving away free combo smoke and CO detectors to all eligible hosts. To date, over 200,000 hosts worldwide have ordered a detector through this program. In Mexico, Airbnb has partnered with Mexico City’s Comprehensive Risk Management and Disaster Response Secretariat to launch an information campaign targeting hosts to promote safety best practices. Additionally, we’ve rolled out updates to our free global smoke and CO detector program to expedite shipping for hosts in Mexico. We encourage all hosts to confirm that they have a smoke and CO detector installed, and homes that report having a detector are clearly marked so this information is visible to guests. Guests can also filter listings based on the properties they report. If a guest books a listing where a host hasn’t yet reported having detectors in place, we’ll flag that so they’re aware and can take precautions if needed. Stay tuned to WDSU for the latest updates on the situation.
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