Thomas Cook removes all holidaymakers from Egypt hotel where British couple died

Thomas Cook are removing 301 customers from the Egypt hotel where a British couple died on Tuesday.

John Cooper, 69, and Susan Cooper, 64, from Burnley, Lancashire, died in the Red Sea resort town of Hurghada.

Mr Cooper, who ran his own building company in the town, had a heart attack and was rushed to hospital where he later passed away.

Mrs Cooper, a long-serving Thomas Cook employee, died "of grief" just hours later, said Dr Maged Eledawy, the head of Hurghada Hospital.

In a statement, the travel company said: "We are deeply saddened by the tragic deaths of two of our customers that were staying in the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel in Hurghada, Egypt.

"The circumstances of their deaths are still unclear. We have also received further reports of a raised level of illness among guests. Safety is always our first priority, so as a precautionary measure we have taken a decision to remove all our customers from this hotel."

The company’s head of customer welfare and the group head of health, safety and security has flown out to Egypt to deal with the incident, a spokesman told the Daily Mirror.

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The travel company said they are working with local police.

Thomas Cook’s statement continued: "We will be offering customers alternative hotels within Hurghada, as well as giving them the option to return home.

"For those customers who choose to come home, we have made arrangements to fly them back tomorrow, August 24.

"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 Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel was last audited by Thomas Cook in late July 2018 and received an overall score of 96%.

"We will be contacting those customers due to travel to the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel in Hurghada in the next four weeks to offer alternative holiday options."

A Thomas Cook spokesman said customers will remain in the hotel on Thursday night but have been told they can be moved to alternative accommodation on Friday or can choose to be flown home.

It is believed Thomas Cook are investigating whether any health and safety issues, such as ventilation issues or food poisoning, contributed to the Coopers’ deaths.

Thomas Cook’s Head of Customer Welfare Carol Mackenzie flew to Hurghada last night to offer support to the couple’s families.

Earlier today the governor for the Red Sea province Ahmed Abdullah told The Telegraph: "They were two elderly Britons travelling with their daughter.

"The husband fell sick and was taken to hospital, where he died. About three hours later his wife had a shock and died."

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We are supporting the family of a British couple who died in Hurghada, Egypt and we are in contact with the local tour operator."

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His wife is reported to have died hours later ‘from grief’, according to doctors who reporters from MailOnline spoke to.

Susan was a long-serving employee of Thomas Cook and worked in its Burnley branch, which closed today ‘out of respect’.

The branch said: "The person had gone on a trip of a lifetime and so sadly never to come back. The store is closed as a sign of respect.

"The team there are devastated and closed up shop yesterday.

"We don’t know when it will open again but we are helping out and dealing with all customer inquiries at this store."

A notice has been put on the doors of the travel agent saying it was closed ‘due to unforeseen circumstances’.

Hurghada is one of the most popular vacation destinations on the Red Sea.

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

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