'No evidence of carbon monoxide' in Brit couple's death

There is no evidence to suggest that carbon monoxide poisoning was behind the deaths of a British couple at a hotel resort in Egypt, Thomas Cook has said.
John and Susan Cooper, 69 and 63, fell ill during their stay at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel in Hurghada and later died, with the poisonous gas having been reported as a possible factor.
But the travel operator - which has removed 301 customers from the resort amid reports of a "raised level of illness among guests" - has said the circumstances of the deaths remains unclear.In a statement, Thomas Cook said: "We are aware of the speculation in some of today's media that their deaths may have been caused by carbon monoxide poisoning. Currently we have no evidence to support this."
'No evidence of carbon monoxide' in Brit couple's death

Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel in Hurghada. Pic: Steigenberger
Hotel general manager Dieter Geiger has strongly denied there was "an increased incidence of illness" at the resort, and claimed that a doctor's preliminary report had indicated that they were due to natural causes.The family is still awaiting the results of postmortem examinations and daughter Kelly Ormerod, who was on holiday with her parents and three children, said they had been "fit and healthy" before going abroad."As a family we are devastated," she said in a statement given to Lancashire radio station 2BR."Mum and Dad meant the world to me and the children, and we are in utter shock over what has happened and what is happening. Prior to going on holiday, Mum and Dad were fit and healthy. They had no health problems at all."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."
'No evidence of carbon monoxide' in Brit couple's death

Egypt's Red Sea resort of Hurghada is popular with tourists
Mrs Ormerod praised Thomas Cook for its response to the tragedy, with a team of 24 company representatives deployed to support customers at the hotel overnight.They have been given the option of either moving to another resort in Hurghada or flying home early.One of those to have chosen to go home is Alison Cope, 44, from Birmingham, who had been at the hotel for two weeks and seen five of her seven family members fall ill during that time.She said: "The food is just disgusting, it's under-cooked. I know so many people have been ill."Half the time we don't know what it is and can't eat it because it's raw in the middle. We've spent almost two weeks at a five-star hotel eating bread and chips because we at least know what it is."
We are there now.. all 4 of us have been ill but the hotel itself is lovely— kay elliott (@kay3739) August 23, 2018
Another guest, Matt Higgins, has instead chosen to move his family to one of the other hotels.He told Sky News there had been a degree of panic when guests were called into a meeting on Thursday night."Last night they came round, called us all in and were told we're going to be moved or we can fly home," he said."We've been slightly worried since last night, we panicked a bit, but got up this morning and had a meeting, which eased us slightly, and we decided the best thing to do would be to move hotels."There's quite a few going home but there's well over 100 getting transferred to a different hotel. But this hotel's been nice, it's pleasant, clean, the staff are great.
"We've all had upset stomachs but that's part of the package when you go abroad sometimes."
'No evidence of carbon monoxide' in Brit couple's death

Matt Higgins spoke to Sky News from the hotel lobby
In an earlier statement, Thomas Cook said that customers who chose to come home would fly out on Friday, while the company would continue to work with Steigenberger and support the investigation.Mrs Ormerod said her focus was on getting her children home as soon as possible."All we want is answers about what has happened and a cause of death," she added."I'd also like to thank people at home for their messages of love and support during this horrendous ordeal."
'No evidence of carbon monoxide' in Brit couple's death

More than 300 people have been removed from the hotel. Pic: Steigenberger
Her mother, Mrs Cooper, worked at a Thomas Cook branch in Burnley and - according to a family friend - had a season ticket at the town's Premier League side with her husband.Alban Barker, who knew Mr Cooper for around 30 years and lives near their home, said they were a "really great couple" who were "both working and quite fit"."He looked well, did John, he was a strong man," he added."They were both working and were quite fit people, his is a physical job. They both worked jolly hard and used to go on holiday regularly. They seemed to go everywhere together."
'No evidence of carbon monoxide' in Brit couple's death

The hotel is well reviewed on TripAdvisor Pic: Steigenberger
Ingo Burmester, chief of Thomas Cook UK, described Mrs Cooper as a "loyal and long-serving" employee."We are deeply saddened by the deaths of two of our customers while on holiday in Hurghada in Egypt, one of whom was a loyal and long-serving member of our Thomas Cook family," he said."Our focus is on fully supporting their loved ones."We are urgently investigating with the hotel and supporting the local authorities."
'No evidence of carbon monoxide' in Brit couple's death

Thomas Cook is assisting with the investigation into the deaths
It comes just a month after the company said the hotel had last been audited, receiving an overall score of 96%.The hotel is also rated highly on TripAdvisor, with an overall score of 4.5 stars from more than 4,000 reviews.
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The listing for the hotel on the Thomas Cook website now says: "Sorry, there is currently no availability."Holidaymakers due to travel there in the next four weeks are to be contacted by Thomas Cook with the offer of alternative travel options.
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