The bodies of the British couple who died at a hotel in Egypt will be repatriated next week, the country’s tourism minister has said.
Rania Al-Mashat said the bodies of John and Susan Cooper, who died at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel in Hurghada, would be flown back to the UK next week following “detailed autopsies”.
It came as lawyers revealed a family successfully sued tour operator Thomas Cook last month after they fell ill while staying at the same hotel in 2016.
The family-of-four from south Wales claimed they suffered gastric illness and stomach problems for about two months after staying at the same hotel.
According to the law firm which took on their case, the family accused the tour operator of failing to ensure food and drink was “safe for human consumption” and that it permitted food to be “re-served or re-used on more than one occasion”.
JMW Solicitors said Newport County Court ordered Thomas Cook to pay £26,000 in compensation and costs after the case went to trial as the company denied liability.
The revelation comes after Mr Cooper, 69, and Mrs Cooper, 63, from Burnley, died on 21 August. Mr Cooper died in his room and Mrs Cooper, 63, who worked for Thomas Cook, died in hospital.
Their daughter Kelly Omerod claimed there was “something suspicious” about the deaths and said her parents were in “perfect health” before falling ill.
Since the deaths, two people – among the hundreds told to leave the resort following an evacuation of the hotel – have reported suffering from the bacterial infection shigella, according to a lawyer representing the pair.
Travel lawyer Nick Harris, of Simpson Millar, confirmed to Sky News reports that a British mother and daughter had fallen ill on holiday and that an environmental health officer told them their samples indicated they were suffering from the infection, which can be passed on in contaminated food or water.
Symptoms of the bacterial infection can include fever, abdominal cramps and diarrhoea, which often contains blood or mucus.
On Wednesday, Thomas Cook chief executive Peter Fankhauser flew to Egypt to meet with the country’s prime minister. The tour operator is hoping to gain permission to access Mr and Mrs Cooper’s hotel room.
He previously said there was “no real evidence what caused the deaths” but vowed to support the family and authorities investigating the deaths.