Elisa Lam death: Water from LA hotel cistern 'safe'

Elisa Lam Lam of Vancouver had been travelling alone

Investigators are seeking the cause of death of a Canadian woman found dead in a Los Angeles hotel cistern.

Meanwhile, water sampled from the tank has been found to be safe to drink and bathe in, health officials have said.

Elisa Lam, 21, of Vancouver was found dead in the tank by a maintenance worker on Tuesday, after guests complained of low water pressure.

Guests at the Cecil Hotel said they had bathed and drunk water from the tank while she remained in it.

Officials said an autopsy on Thursday did not provide a definite cause of death, and the medical examiner's office was awaiting the results of toxicology tests.

Start Quote

A worker stands on the water stanks of Hotel Cecil, Losa Angeles, California 20 February 2013

The moment we found out, we felt a bit sick to the stomach”

End Quote Michael Baugh British tourist

On Thursday afternoon, tests showed the water to be safe from a "microbiological standpoint", Angelo Bellomo, Los Angeles county's director of environmental health, told the Associated Press.

Two British tourists at the hotel, Michael Baugh and his wife, said they were shocked to discover why the water had only been trickling through the taps and shower.

"The moment we found out, we felt a bit sick to the stomach, quite literally," said Mr Baugh.

Police Sgt Rudy Lopez said Lam's death was suspicious and a coroner's investigation would determine the cause.

Hotel surveillance footage before she died showed her pushing buttons in the lift, leaning through the doors and looking both ways.

Lam was travelling alone from Vancouver, in the Canadian province of British Columbia. She arrived on 26 January and hotel workers last remember seeing her five days later.

Authorities reportedly had to cut through the water tank to retrieve the body, because of the narrow opening at the top.

More on This Story

More US & Canada stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • SyedTanks instead of toys

    Lyse Doucet on the plight of children in Syria and Gaza


  • Silhouette of manSuper-shy

    Why do Germany's super-rich so often keep their heads down?


  • Children playing in Seoul fountainDay in pictures

    The best news photos from around the world in the past 24 hours


  • Gin drinkerMother's ruin

    The time was gin was full of sulphuric acid and turpentine


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • EscaladeBling's the thing

    The ostentatious Cadillac Escalade cruises into 2015 with fuel-gulping gusto

Programmes

  • The smartphones of shoppers being tracked in a storeClick Watch

    How free wi-fi can enable businesses to track our movements and learn more about us

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.