Daughter says parents' deaths in Egyptian hotel '˜suspicious'

The daughter of a British couple who died at a hotel in Egypt believes there is 'something suspicious' behind their deaths.

The Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel in Hurghada, Egypt. Tour operator Thomas Cook is evacuating all of its customers from the hotel in Egypt's Red Sea resort after two Britons died there this week under unclear circumstances. Picture: AP Photo/APTN.

John and Susan Cooper, from Burnley, Lancashire, were “fit and healthy” before their holiday and in “perfect health” just hours before being taken ill, daughter Kelly Ormerod said.

The mother-of-three was on a break with her parents and children before their deaths on Tuesday morning.

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The family were staying at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada when Mr Cooper, 69, died in his room.

Mrs Ormerod said her 63-year-old mother, a Thomas Cook employee, was taken to hospital but died.

She said: “They had no illness, no stomach upset, no vomiting, no illness whatsoever – they were in perfect health when they went to bed.When we woke up, my mum hadn’t come down to sit on the sunbeds so I went to knock on the door and saw that they were both very unwell.

“It was about 11am when I went to the bedroom. They said they were extremely ill and need help. I watched them die before my very eyes and they had exactly the same symptoms.

“I believe something suspicious has gone on ... something has happened in that room and caused them to be taken away from us.”

She added the family were in “utter shock” as they await results of post-mortem examinations on the couple, who had booked the holiday with Thomas Cook.

Hotel guests reported widespread food poisoning symptoms and Thomas Cook admitted there had been a “raised level of illness among guests”.

Alison Cope, from Birmingham, said she had been at the hotel for two weeks, and five out of seven of her family had been ill for around 10 days.

The 44-year-old, who flew home last night, said: “The food is just disgusting, it’s undercooked. I know so many people who have been ill.

“Half the time we don’t know what it is and can’t eat it because it’s raw in the middle.”

One guest said children had suffered ear infections and claimed the pool water was changed overnight on Tuesday and there was a strong smell of disinfectant.

Thomas Cook said there was no evidence to suggest the couple’s deaths were caused by carbon monoxide poisoning, which had been reported as a possible factor.

The circumstances of the deaths remain unclear, the company said, adding that 
it had sent 24 staff to 
support 300 customers in the hotel.