National News

Supplied by

Couple who died in Egypt hotel ‘killed by something in their room’, says daughter

6:40 pm, 26th August 2018

John and Susan Cooper, from Burnley, Lancashire, died on Tuesday morning while on holiday at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel in Hurghada with their daughter and her child.

An inspection of the couple’s hotel room revealed there were no toxic or harmful gas emissions or leaks, prosecutor Nabil Sadeq said.

The deaths of the couple, aged 69 and 63, prompted tour operator Thomas Cook to evacuate 301 of its customers from the hotel as a “precautionary measure”.

The couple’s daughter Kelly Ormerod, who had been on holiday with her parents and daughter, said she found them both seriously ill in their room.

She said her daughter went to her grandparents’ room after a meal they all had together the night before.

Ms Ormerod said: “My daughter said they could smell something that was a little bit funny, that wasn’t right.

“All they did was spray a little bit of perfume to try to eliminate the smell.”

When her parents failed to come down for breakfast the next day, Ms Ormerod went to their room.

She said: “As I opened the door, I could see that my dad was extremely ill and he was staggering back to the bed.”

Her father said he felt “really, really poorly” while her mother was lying on the bed.

Doctors were called and they attended to her father as a priority as his condition was worse.

Ms Ormerod said: “They tried basically to save his life and they couldn’t – they did CPR on him but nothing could help him, nothing could save him.

“Mum had no idea what was going on – she was oblivious to what was actually happening because she was so poorly.”

Her mother was taken to hospital where she died later.

Ms Ormerod said: “I don’t think it was specifically an individual’s fault for the deaths.

“I think when they went back to that room that evening there was something in that room that’s actually killed them – whether they’ve inhaled something that poisoned them, I don’t know.

“I can only have my opinion on what’s gone on, but there’s something that happened in that room that killed my parents.”

:: Egypt hotel couple’s deaths: What do we know?

Ms Ormerod previously told Sky News she believed “something suspicious” had caused their deaths.

Thomas Cook’s chief executive, Peter Fankhauser, has told Sky News that the company had brought in experts to test water, food and air conditioning and the results of the tests should be known within ten days.

“We have no real evidence what caused the deaths, but what I can promise is at Thomas Cook we are doing everything to support the family and to support the Egyptian authorities… to get to the bottom of it and to get to the cause,” he said.

“There is no evidence that it is a carbon monoxide poisoning. We have no evidence but I don’t want to rule out anything before I really know the cause.”

Mr Fankhauser continued: “Twenty-four hours after the couple died we had we had our specialists… in the hotel. They took probes of the food, of the hygienic systems, of water, as well the air conditioning systems, and all those probes are now in Egypt.

“They are now examining and testing the probes and we support them in doing that, but that takes about 10 days.”

A spokesman for the Steigenberger hotel said the company was carrying out its own investigation and would be doing everything possible to assist the authorities.

Ms Ormerod, who is now back in the UK, told Sky News she has hired a local lawyer to find out what happened to her parents.

At least 20 people have brought legal claims against the hotel over hygiene standards.

Nick Harris, a lawyer who is representing the group, said his clients had reported becoming unwell after recent stays at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel.

Mr Harris told Sky News complaints had been made over “the food, the temperatures of the food, things like that”.

He added: “It seems to be the same complaints coming back time and time again.”