Russia flies home bodies of 4 tourists who died in Albania

The Russian Embassy in Tirana says the bodies of four Russian tourists who were found dead at a beach resort in western Albania last week have been flown home

TIRANA, Albania -- The bodies of four Russian tourists who were found dead at a beach resort in western Albania last week have been flown home, the Russian Embassy in Tirana said on Friday.

Albanian police said the four — a married couple, their daughter and son-in-law — were found dead in a hotel sauna in the village of Qerret, 50 kilometers (30 miles) west of the capital Tirana, on Oct. 15. They said initial indications were that they died of asphyxiation, but the circumstances were unclear and no formal coroner's report has been made public.

The Russian embassy said other tests would be carried out on the remains “to discover the cause of their death.”

It added that it expected the Albanian authorities’ results soon and hoped their further cooperation would "clarify the circumstances of the tragedy.”

The Russian tourists, aged 31 to 60, were part of a group that had been staying for a week at the five-star resort.

Tourism is now a major industry in Albania, a tiny Western Balkan country with 300 miles of coastline.