Revelations that Egypt hotel room next to Burnley couple's had been fumigated leads to vow by travel operator to get to the truth

The Egyptian hotel room next door to the one where Burnley couple John and Susan Cooper were staying was fumigated hours before their death.
The Egyptian hotel room next door to the one where Burnley couple John and Susan Cooper were staying was fumigated hours before their death.
Share this article

Travel operator Thomas Cook has vowed to "do everything we can" to get to the bottom of what happened to a couple from Burnley who died while on holiday in Egypt.

The company released the statement today after reports in a national newspaper that the hotel room next to where John and Susan Cooper were staying had been fumigated just hours before their death.

Pest controllers are reported to have sprayed chemicals into the room next door to where the Coopers were staying in the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel in the resort of Hurghada on Monday, August 20th.

Holidaymakers at the hotel have said that the room was sealed off and a guard placed outside after the tragedy.

It is also believed that the room that was fumigated shared a false ceiling with the room that was being occupied by the Coopers.

It is believed that some of the chemicals used in Egypt are heavy duty and may be banned in Europe.

On the night before the Coopers died their daughter, Kelly Ormerod, who was holidaying with her parents and her three children, said they noticed a strange smell in the room which they tried to get rid of by spraying perfume.

A spokesman for Thomas Cook said: "The circumstances of the Coopers' deaths remain unclear and it would be inappropriate to comment further until the Egyptian authorities complete their investigation and the autopsy findings are known."

A post mortem is being held and the results are expected this week.

Last week the Prime Minister of Egypt gave an assurance that "no stone will be left unturned" to find out how the couple died.

The assurance came after the Prime Minister of Egypt Mostafa Madbouly met with the country's Minister of Tourism Dr Rania Al-Mashat and Peter Fankhauser who is the Chief Executive Officer of tour operator Thomas Cook.

Dr Al-Mashat said: "The Prime Minister and I gave Mr Fankhauser our absolute assurances that the Egyptian authorities will leave no stone unturned in determining the actual cause of death.

"Similarly, the same reassurances have been given to Mr and Mrs Cooper’s daughter Kelly Ormerod and the British Ambassador in Egypt, John Casson.

"The Prime Minister re-affirmed the Egyptian government’s total transparency in its undertakings to Mr Fankhauser."

Separately, a working group led by Nabil Sadeq, Egypt’s Attorney General and highest-ranking legal figure in the country, is examining in forensic detail all hygiene aspects of the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel in Hurghada where the couple died.

Dr Al-Mashat said the investigation would be "robust, thorough and independent" and the group will be testing food, water and air conditioning. He added that the results would be made public.

Mr Sadeq has said previously that a technical inspection of Mr and Mrs Cooper’s hotel bedroom determined there were no toxic or harmful gas emissions or leaks.

Dr Al-Mashat added: "All the details of the investigation will be shared in full transparency and available to all for scrutiny.

Mr Peter Fankhauser, the head of Thomas Cook, has also met with the British Ambassador to Egypt John Casson and the Deputy Head of Mission Helen Winterton to discuss their continued co-operation to assist the Cooper family and with the Egyptian authorities to support UK tourists in Egypt.

The Coopers were well known in Burnley where John ran his own building company called Safe As Houses and Susan had worked at the town's branch of Thomas Cook for many years.