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  1. ITV Report

Daughter of British couple who died in Egypt hotel dismisses e.coli explanation

The grieving daughter of the British couple who died on a Thomas Cook holiday in Egypt has dismissed official reports her parents were killed by e.coli.

Mother-of-three Kelly Ormerod said she had “no faith” in the authorities in Egypt and did not believe e.coli killed her parents, John and Susan Cooper.

The 40-year-old, from Burnley, Lancashire, said she was still waiting for answers until Home Office post-mortem examinations, scheduled for tomorrow, took place.

Earlier today, Egypt's chief prosecutor said tests showed that e.coli bacteria were behind the death of two British tourists in a hotel in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada.

Travel company Thomas Cook said last week that there was a "high level of e.coli and staphylococcus bacteria" at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel where John and Susan Cooper, a couple in their 60s, died on 21 August.

The Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel in Hurghada, Egypt Credit: AP

Prosecutor Nabil Sadek said on Wednesday forensic tests showed that John Cooper suffered acute intestinal dysentery caused by e.coli, and Susan Cooper suffered Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), likely because of e.coli.

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

He said the couple's bodies showed "no criminal violence" and other tests on air and water at the hotel found nothing unusual.

Egypt’s minister of tourism, Rania Al-Mashat, said: “The causes of death, e.coli bacteria, were medically determined by a team of internationally accredited pathologists, which I hope for the family’s sake will put an end to previous speculative suggestions of what might have happened.”

But Mrs Ormerod, who was staying at the same hotel with her children, said: “I have not seen evidence or facts of any e.coli.

“Thomas Cook put a report out that there were high levels of e.coli at the hotel. Whether the Egyptians have honed in on that, I have no idea.

“But anybody can Google what e.coli symptoms are and the progression of e.coli and it does not kill you within a matter of hours.

“They are either stuck for answers or don’t want to tell the truth.

“They are obviously aware this is having a very negative effect on tourism.”

Ms Ormerod said she had not received anything official from the Foreign Office or the British Embassy in Egypt with details about her parent’s death and had only seen what was in the media.

She added: “I don’t know what tests they have done. The report I have seen, from the media, not sent to me, was very, very brief. I don’t know of any tests they have done.

“Have toxicology reports been done? They do take quite a long time to come back. Have they got them?

“Exactly what have they tested for?

“They have not actually sent a report that I know of to say, ‘We have tested this and ruled it out, we have tested for that and ruled it out’.

“This is why I have no faith whatsoever in the Egyptian authorities, especially knowing the way I was treated out there.

Thomas Cook said it needed time to review the announcement by the Egyptian prosecutor Credit: PA

Thomas Cook evacuated 300 guests from the hotel as a precaution after the Coopers died.

The company was putting together a compensation package for all customers staying at the hotel during August who had reported an illness.

It has also rolled out a programme of “specialist hygiene assessments” to all its hotels which experience a higher-than-average reported level of sickness.

Thomas Cook notes the announcement today by the Egyptian prosecutor on the results of the autopsies of John and Susan Cooper following their deaths at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic in Hurghada on 21 August 2018.

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

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.

– Statement from Thomas Cook