Thomas Cook evacuating customers as UK couple dies in Egypt hotel

Hannah Rogers
August 27, 2018

A probe into their deaths has now been launched by Thomas Cook travel agents, who say they are "deeply saddened" by the deaths.

Thomas Cook has released a further statement following the deaths of a British couple in Hurghada, Egypt, saying that they will expand their current investigation based on feedback from other holiday makers.

"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.

"We will be offering customers alternative hotels within Hurghada, as well as giving them the option to return home".

Thomas Cook audited the Steigenberger Aqua Magic in July, 2018 and received an overall score of 96 per cent.

The hotel said on Friday that there had not been a rise in cases of illness.

Peter Fankhauser told Sky News: "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 get to the bottom of it and to get to the cause".

The BBC identified them as John Cooper, 69, and his wife Susan, 63, a Thomas Cook employee.

Alison Cope, a Thomas Cook customer staying at the Steigenberger, said the company had "fobbed off" guests who had complained "about sickness, illness, low level standards of the food, the hygiene of the glasses".

Dr Maged Eledawy, the head of Hurghada Hospital, earlier said Mr Cooper died after suffering a heart attack before Susan died from grief.

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"The food is just disgusting, it's under-cooked".

A number of British holidaymakers who were staying there have been flown home early by tour operator Thomas Cook.

The Steigenberger Aqua Magic hotel.

The listing for the hotel on the Thomas Cook website includes a line saying "sorry, there is now no availability".

Kelly also added that she wanted to clear up speculation about the couple's cause of death in the national press.

He had suffered a "sharp drop in blood circulation" and his cause of death was listed as "sudden failure in the heart muscle and respiratory failure".

On social media, some users who claim that they were at the hotel and who were evacuated also echoed the allegations of illness.

A spokesperson for travel industry body ABTA said: "We are very sad to hear of the deaths of two British holidaymakers in Hurghada and our thoughts are with their family, friends and colleagues at this hard time".

Britain, another major source of visitors to Egypt, suspended flights to Sharm el-Sheikh, a popular Red Sea resort in Sinai from which the doomed Russian airliner took off shortly before it crashed.

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