Thomas Cook boss flies to Egypt for talks on hotel deaths

John and Susan Cooper Image copyright Facebook
Image caption John and Susan Cooper died on 21 August

Thomas Cook's chief executive has flown to Egypt to discuss the investigation into the deaths of a British couple with the country's prime minister.

Peter Fankhauser will hold talks with Mostafa Madbouly in Cairo about the demise of John and Susan Cooper, from Burnley, Lancashire.

The couple died after they fell ill at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic hotel in Hurghada on 21 August.

Egyptian investigators have said no traces of toxic gas had been detected.

A spokesman for the travel company said: "Thomas Cook CEO, Peter Fankhauser, has flown to Egypt to meet with the Egyptian prime minister, His Excellency Dr Mostafa Madbouly.

"They will discuss the recent tragic deaths of Mr and Mrs Cooper in Hurghada and the ongoing investigation by the Egyptian authorities."

'No real evidence'

The tour operator is hoping to obtain permission from the Egyptian authorities to access the hotel room where the Coopers were staying.

It has commissioned its own tests into food hygiene and air conditioning at the hotel, although it was not granted access to the couple's room.

The results are due in the middle of next week.

Mr Fankhauser has previously insisted there was "no real evidence what caused the deaths" but pledged to "get to the bottom of it and to get to the cause".

Mr Cooper, 69, died in his room, while Mrs Cooper, 63, a Thomas Cook employee, died after being taken to hospital.

Image caption The couple's daughter insists a strange odour in her parents' room had something to do with their deaths

Following the deaths, the company said it was removing all of its 300 customers from the hotel and flew some holidaymakers back to the UK "as a precaution" amid "increased numbers" of guests falling ill.

Mr Fankhauser confirmed that 13 guests had food poisoning but none was in a serious condition.

Mr and Mrs Cooper's daughter Kelly Ormerod told the BBC her parents were in good health when they went to bed on 20 August but she found them seriously ill the next morning.

She has insisted a strange odour in her parents' room had something to do with their deaths.

However, Egyptian investigators said it has not detected any traces of toxic gas.

On Saturday, public prosecutor Nabil Sadeq confirmed all the installations were safe and the equipment was functioning without fault.

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