Egyptian Prime Minister vows "no stone left unturned" in bid to find out what killed Burnley couple

The Egyptian Prime Minister has given an assurance to the family of Burnley couple John and Susan Cooper, who died in the resort of Hurghada, that "no stone will be left unturned" to find out how they died.

Thursday, 30th August 2018, 3:48 pm
Updated Thursday, 30th August 2018, 4:56 pm
The Prime Minister of Egypt has vowed that "no stone will be left unturned" in the quest to find out how Burnley couple John and Susan Cooper died.

The assurance came after the Prime Minister of Egypt Mostafa Madbouly met with the country's Minister of Tourism Dr Rania Al-Mashat and Peter Fankhauser who is the Chief Executive Officer of tour operator Thomas Cook.

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Dr Al-Mashat said: "The Prime Minister and I gave Mr Fankhauser our absolute assurances that the Egyptian authorities will leave no stone unturned in determining the actual cause of death.

"Similarly, the same reassurances have been given to Mr and Mrs Cooper’s daughter Kelly Ormerod and the British Ambassador in Egypt, John Casson.

"The Prime Minister re-affirmed the Egyptian government’s total transparency in its undertakings to Mr Fankhauser."

Detailed autopsies are currently being conducted by a team of forensic pathologists and the results are expected to be known next week.

Dr Al-Mashat added: " When the pathologists have completed their detailed forensic analysis our priority will be, of course, to then contact the Cooper family in England to explain the findings as they, more than anyone, need to know what took away John and Susan.

"Their bodies will then be re-patriated next week with the Cooper family in England."

Separately, a working group led by Nabil Sadeq, Egypt’s Attorney General and highest-ranking legal figure in the country, is examining in forensic detail all hygiene aspects of the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel in Hurghada where the couple died.

Dr Al-Mashat said the investigation would be "robust, thorough and independent" and the group will be testing food, water and air conditioning. He added that the results would be made public.

Mr Sadeq has said previously that a technical inspection of Mr and Mrs Cooper’s hotel bedroom determined there were no toxic or harmful gas emissions or leaks.

Dr Al-Mashat added: "All the details of the investigation will be shared in full transparency and available to all for scrutiny.

"Again, it is anticipated that this work will be concluded during next week.

"It is crucial for everyone involved in the tragic passing away of John and Susan, none more so than the grieving Cooper family, that we get to the bottom of the matter and determine the truth based on evidence."

Describing the meeting with the Prime Minister as " constructive" Peter Fankhauser reiterated his "personal commitment and the commitment of everyone at Thomas Cook" to get the bottom of what happened.

Mr Fankhauser has also met with the British Ambassador to Egypt John Casson and the Deputy Head of Mission Helen Winterton to discuss their continued co-operation to assist the Cooper family and with the Egyptian authorities to support UK tourists in Egypt.

Mr Fankhauser said: "We will continue to speak to the Egyptian authorities and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to ensure that we work together and prioritise the very best interests of the Cooper family.

"The wellbeing of our customers in Egypt remains of paramount importance."