Thomas Cook to change hols for guests booked into Egypt hotel where two Brits died

Susan Cooper, 64, and John, 69, booked the “holiday of a lifetime” at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic hotel in Hurghada on Egypt's Red Sea coast through the travel company,  when both died within hours of each other earlier this week.

The couple were on holiday with their daughter Kelly Ormerod, 40, and her three kids when they died at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic hotel in Hurghada on Egypt's Red Sea coast on Tuesday.

It is thought that their daughter Kelly, 40, was also taken ill but survived after leaving the room and going for a short walk, coming back to discover her parents had died.

Officials first insisted the couple, from Burnley, Lancashire, died of natural causes, claiming John had suffered a heart attack while his wife died of “grief” from the shock.

Kelly told local officials that she believes her parents may have been killed by a faulty air conditioning unit.

Friends of the couple have also speculated they were killed by high levels of carbon monoxide in their room, or even from food poisoning after other guests allegedly complained of being unwell.

However, authorities later revealed the couple fell ill after suffering "respiratory failure".

Thomas Cook had previously revealed that it had removed all of its holidaymakers from the five-star hotel "as a precautionary measure" as they said they had received further reports of "a raised level of illness amongst guests".

Holidaymakers booked to stay at the hotel, which received a 96 per cent rating in a recent Thomas Cook audit, over the next four weeks are also being offered "alternative holiday options".

The company is contacting every guest due to stay at the hotel for the next month to arrange switching them to a new hotel.

But any guests who are booked into the Steigenberger Aqua Magic property after this four week period are also allowed to change their booking.

Customers who wish to change their booking for trips scheduled after this month will have to contact Thomas Cook themselves though, and the tour operator has promised to work with those guests to amend their bookings.

Kelly said of her parents' death: "Prior to going on holiday, Mum and Dad were fit and healthy. They had no health problems at all."

"What I want is to clear up some of what is being reported. We have no cause of death, a post-mortem is under way.

"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."

Kelly said she "wants answers" following her parents' tragic deaths.

She said: "My focus is on getting my children home. All we want is answers about what has happened and a cause of death."

A Thomas Cook spokesperson said shortly after the death: “We are deeply saddened by the deaths of two of our customers, one of whom was a loyal and long-serving member of our family.

“We are supporting their loved ones and urgently investigating.”

The travel firm said the circumstances of their deaths are death are still unclear, and said there is "currently no evidence" to support claims of carbon monoxide poisoning.

In a further statement, the company explained it was offering customers the chance to transfer to another hotel within Hurghada or fly home.

A spokesperson added: "Safety is always our first priority, so as a precautionary measure we have taken a decision to remove all our customers from this hotel.

"Holidaymakers booked to stay at the hotel, which received a 96 per cent rating in a recent Thomas Cook audit, over the next four weeks will be offered alternative holiday options."

Hurghada is a beach resort town along Egypt's Red Sea coast, popular with British tourists.

They continued: "While we understand this is upsetting for those on holiday, we believe this is the right thing to do.

"We continue to work closely with the hotel and are supporting the authorities with their investigations."

The exclusive Steigenberger Aqua Magic has 394 rooms, 294 family rooms and 15 suites.

Last year we revealed how Brit tourists were flocking to the resort after the Foreign Office warned against travelling to Sharm El Sheikh. 

On its website, Thomas Cook describes Hurghada as "the capital of the Red Sea Riviera, where beautiful beaches, vibrant nightclubs and world-class diving destinations await."

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