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E.coli killed Thomas Cook travel agent and her husband, say authorities

Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel

E.coli did cause the deaths of travel agent Susan Cooper and her husband John, who fell ill while on a Thomas Cook holiday in Egypt.

Mr Cooper, aged 69, collapsed and died in his room at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic hotel, while his wife Susan, who worked for Thomas Cook, died later after being taken to hospital.

Thomas Cook said independent tests carried out at the hotel following the tragedy had revealed a high level of E-coli and and staphylococcus bacteria in food, but it said this did not explain their deaths.

There had been speculation that pesticides used in a neighbouring bedroom might have been the cause.

However, in an official statement, the Egyptian general prosecutor said post-mortem examinations showed E. coli bacteria was the cause of death.

According the Egyptian general prosecutor’s statement, tests showed Mr Cooper suffered acute intestinal dysentery caused by E.coli, and Mrs Cooper suffered a complication linked to infection, likely to have been caused by E. coli.

A Thomas Cook spokeswoman said the operator was unable to comment on the implications of the prosecutor’s statement.

“We have not yet seen the full report and we will need time for our own experts to review it,” she said.

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic deaths of John and Susan Cooper. We will continue to offer every support to their daughter Kelly and the rest of their family.”

The couple’s daughter Kelly Ormerod who was with them at the Aqua Magic hotel, slammed the prosecutor’s report as ‘absolute rubbish’.

She told the BBC she did not believe the symptoms her parents showed were consistent with E. coli infection, and she said further post-mortem examinations of her parents’ bodies would be carried out in the UK, on direction from the Home Office.

Thomas Cook has withdrawn the hotel from sale.

It immediately moved around 300 clients from the Steigenberger following the couple’s deaths.

The operator said it had audited the hotel as recently as July and that it had received an overall score of 96%, but Thomas Cook was ordered by a court to pay £26,000 in compensation and costs to a family who suffered food poisoning while staying the same hotel in 2016.

It admitted that 14 other clients reported they were sick while staying at the hotel in August, around the same time as the Coopers.

source: Travel Mole
foto: Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel