‘No gas leak’ at Egypt hotel where British couple died


Egypt’s top prosecutor has dismissed reports that poisonous gas emissions caused the deaths of a British couple at the Red Sea resort of Hurghada.

John Cooper, 69, and Susan Cooper, 63, from Burnley, Lancashire, died on Tuesday morning while on holiday at the resort with their daughter and her three children.

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

His office is waiting for a forensic analysis of samples taken from Mr and Mrs Cooper.

The couple’s deaths prompted tour operator Thomas Cook to evacuate 301 of its customers from the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel as a “precautionary measure”.

The company said circumstances surrounding the Coopers’ deaths are “unclear” and that it received reports of “a raised level of illness among guests.”

The hotel is well reviewed on TripAdvisor Pic: Steigenberger
Image: The hotel’s manager strongly denied ‘an increased incidence of illness’. Pic: Steigenberger

Egyptian authorities dismissed criminal motives as being behind the deaths.

Medical examinations showed that the couple both fell ill after suffering “respiratory failure” while staying at the popular hotel, Egyptian officials say.

The local governor’s office said the cause of Mr Cooper’s death was “a sudden stoppage of the heart muscles and respiratory failure”, with his wife dying due to “a stoppage of circulation and respiratory failure”.

The findings were made public shortly after daughter Kelly Ormerod revealed they had been “in perfect health” just hours before they died.

She told Sky News she was convinced that “something suspicious” had happened to them, having enjoyed a family meal and then seen them off to bed at around 1.30am.

Ms Ormerod, who found them unwell at around 11am, said: “I watched them die before my very eyes and they had exactly the same symptoms.

“I believe something suspicious has gone on. I don’t believe anyone has entered the room, but something has happened in that room that caused them to be taken away from us.”

Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel in Hurghada. Pic: Steigenberger
Image: At least 20 legal claims have been made against the hotel. Pic: Steigenberger

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.”

Hotel general manager Dieter Geiger strongly denied “an increased incidence of illness” at the resort.

He said that a doctor’s preliminary report had indicated that the deaths were due to natural causes.

Thomas Cook offered its customers at the hotel the chance to either move to another resort in Hurghada or fly home.

Alison Cope, 44, from Birmingham, chose to go home after seeing five of her seven family members fall ill during a two-week period.

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“The food is just disgusting, it’s under-cooked. I know so many people have been ill,” she said.

“Half the time we don’t know what it is and can’t eat it because it’s raw in the middle. We’ve spent almost two weeks at a five-star hotel eating bread and chips because we at least know what it is.”

From – SkyNews


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