05/09/2018 17:08 BST

E-coli Found At Egypt Hotel Where British Couple John And Susan Cooper Fell Ill

John and Susan Cooper died within hours of each other.

John and Susan Cooper

E-coli has been found at the Egyptian hotel where a British couple who died within hours of each other fell ill on holiday.

John and Susan Cooper from Burnley, Lancashire, died while staying at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada last month.

Independent hygiene tests ordered by tour operator Thomas Cook revealed high levels of e-coli and staphylococcus bacteria were present at the hotel. 

Examinations on the air, water and swimming pools all came back clear.

Mr Cooper, 69, died in his room while Mrs Cooper, 63, a Thomas Cook employee, died after being taken to hospital hours later, according to their daughter Kelly Ormerod.

The pair were otherwise fit and healthy and Ormerod insisted “something suspicious” was behind their deaths. 

Thomas Cook chief executive Peter Fankhauser said while the results of the tests had not determined the cause of the death of the couple, the company would conduct hygiene assessments at of all of its hotels where higher levels of sickness among guests have been reported.

“Everyone at Thomas Cook is deeply saddened by the tragic deaths of John and Susan Cooper,” he added. “Susan was a longstanding and much-loved colleague of ours.

“We continue to await the results of the investigation being conducted by the Egyptian authorities and are working closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to ensure we prioritise the very best interests of the Cooper family.

“However, the tests that Thomas Cook commissioned and announced today show that hygiene at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel during the month of August did not meet the standards we expect.

“I am very sorry for all our customers who fell ill while on a Thomas Cook holiday at this hotel.”

Thomas Cook customer satisfaction scores declined sharply this month following the incident, which saw 300 guests moved out of the Steigenberger Aqua Magic hotel as a precaution and the establishment will remain closed while investigations are carried out.

The official cause of the Coopers’ deaths is yet to be determined.