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During an inquest, it was reported that a pair from Britain who were vacationing in Egypt passed away unexpectedly in their hotel room, which was located near an area that had been treated with chemicals to eliminate bed bugs.
The passing of John Cooper, 69, and his wife Susan, 63, on August 21, 2018, was shrouded in mystery as they fell ill during their stay at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel in Hurghada, a popular Red Sea resort.
An initial report from an expert mentioned during a previous hearing indicated that the deaths of the couple were not caused by carbon monoxide poisoning or food poisoning, but may have been due to potential exposure to an “infectious biological agent or toxic chemicals”.
During the initial day of the two-day investigation, a German visitor stated that they had reported a bed bug problem in the room adjacent to the Coopers. The room was subsequently treated with a pesticide called Lambda during lunchtime. However, the Coopers became sick during the early hours and passed away the following day.
The two rooms were connected by a door, but it remained locked.
Kelly Ormerod, the Coopers’ daughter, described her parents as fit and healthy for their age who had been enjoying a “brilliant” holiday with her, their three grandchildren and family friends, after leaving the UK on August 13 2018.
According to Ms. Ormerod, Mr. Cooper, a construction worker, and his wife Susan, who works as a cashier at a currency exchange in a Thomas Cook travel agency, would take multiple vacations each year. Ms. Ormerod herself is a government employee at HMRC.
In April of that year, her mother had previously stayed at the same hotel and raved about it, prompting the decision to return with the entire family.
In the evening of August 20, they all visited the hotel’s restaurant and bar before heading to bed for the night.
Molly, the 12-year-old daughter of Ms Ormerod, was sleeping on a single bed in her grandparents’ room, which she described as having a “yeasty smell”. However, at 1am, Mr Cooper called to inform them that she was feeling unwell. He then accompanied Molly to her mother’s room on a higher floor.
The following day, Mr. and Mrs. Cooper did not come out for breakfast. Ms. Ormerod then checked their room on the ground floor, 5107, and found that they were both very ill.
According to Ms Ormerod, her father approached the door and stated, “I am not feeling well,” while displaying symptoms of retching and facial contortions.
“Ms. Ormerod stated at the hearing that he suddenly slumped and sat on the edge of the bed, saying ‘I’m feeling really unwell’.”
She reported that her mother was lying in bed, making groaning sounds and had vomit in her hair and in the room. She also mentioned a peculiar, strong odor.
According to Ms. Ormerod, both doctors were called in but they were in a state of panic. As her parents’ condition worsened and her father had difficulty breathing, Ms. Ormerod expressed her concern.
Ms Ormerod sadly stated, “His eyes had a glazed, fixed appearance.”
CPR was performed, but unfortunately, Mr. Cooper was pronounced deceased on the floor of the hotel room. His wife was then transported to the hotel clinic, where she became extremely agitated and delirious, according to the inquest.
Mrs. Cooper was transported to the hospital via ambulance, but was pronounced deceased at 4:12pm.
The inquest revealed that both individuals were brought back to the UK in coffins lined with sealed zinc.
Dominik Bibi, a truck dispatcher from Germany, arrived with seven family members in the early hours of August 20 and read a statement.
According to Mr. Bibi, his mother-in-law, who was wheelchair-bound, reserved room 5106, which was located on the ground floor next to the Cooper’s room.
He stated, “As soon as I entered, I noticed a peculiar odor resembling that of mold or moisture.”
“There were numerous bed bugs on and under the bed.”
He reported that a custodian and night supervisor came to apologize, and his mother-in-law occupied his and his wife’s room down the hall at 5102.
Later in the day, during lunchtime, he was standing outside her room and spotted three individuals. Two of them were dressed in the hotel’s uniform, while the third was carrying a pesticide canister that appeared to hold two or three litres. He presumed they were using it to eliminate the bed bugs.
After five to ten minutes, they departed from the room and utilized masking tape to secure the door and enclose the space.
According to Mr. Bibi’s statement, I would not characterize the job as highly professional.
On that day, he mentioned that the hotel’s air conditioning was not functioning. A cleaner informed the family that the hotel was conducting maintenance on the system.
He mentioned that both he and other relatives were feeling ill, but he anticipated it due to their vacation in Egypt.
The court session was postponed until Wednesday morning.