Britain’s Thomas Cook Evacuates Customers from Egypt Hotel after Couple’s Death

Britain’s Thomas Cook Evacuates Customers from Egypt Hotel after Couple’s Death

Friday, 24 August, 2018 - 11:00
A pedestrian walks past a Thomas Cook shop in central London. (Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat
Britain’s Thomas Cook was evacuating on Friday all 301 of its customers from a hotel in Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Hurghada following the death of two holidaymakers.

The move was a precaution and the details of the deaths remain unclear.

Local officials said John Cooper, 69, and his wife Susan Cooper, 63, died from heart failure.

A statement from the Red Sea provincial governor’s office, entitled “normal death of an English old man and his wife”, said both had died of heart failure.

John Cooper suffered a “circulatory collapse” and died at the hotel. Susan Cooper was taken to hospital after fainting and died there, it said.

Red Sea governor Ahmad Abdallah told AFP that the couple, who were on holiday with their daughter, had died on Tuesday.

Abdallah said the man died in hospital after suffering exhaustion, followed by his wife who collapsed at the hotel on hearing the news.

The governor ruled out "criminal motive".

The couple were staying at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel and died within hours of each other on Tuesday.

Susan Cooper worked for Thomas Cook in Britain.

The holiday company said it had received further reports of illness among guests, without elaborating.

“Safety is always our first priority, so as a precautionary measure we have taken a decision to remove all our customers from this hotel,” the company said.

The couple’s daughter Kelly Ormerod, who was on the same holiday along with her three children, said the cause of death had not been established.

“Mum and Dad were fit and healthy, they had no known health problems,” she said in a statement to British local radio station 2BR. “We have no cause of death, a post mortem is underway.

“Dad never went to hospital, he died in the hotel room in front of me. I went to hospital in the ambulance with mum where she passed away,” she said.

Thomas Cook said it would offer customers alternative hotels in the resort or the option to fly back to Britain later on Friday.

The company said it had last audited the hotel in late July and it had received an overall score of 96 percent.

A spokeswoman for the British Foreign Office said: “We continue to support the family of a couple who died in Hurghada. Anyone staying at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel should follow the advice of their tour operator and the local authorities.”

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