A woman, whose parents passed away due to carbon monoxide poisoning while on vacation in Egypt, has expressed that her family is “shattered” without them.
On Friday, a coroner determined that John Cooper, 69, and his wife Susan, 63, from Burnley, Lancashire, passed away due to becoming sick in their hotel room after a pesticide was used in the adjacent room to eradicate bed bugs.
During the inquest into their deaths, it was revealed that the couple had been having a wonderful time on their holiday at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic hotel in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada.
Kelly Ormerod, the daughter of the Coopers, stated that her parents were in good health considering their age. She was on vacation with her parents, three grandchildren, and family friends.
On the eighth day of their vacation, during lunchtime, the room adjacent to the Coopers’ was treated with a pesticide called Lambda to eliminate a bed bug problem. The room had a locked connecting door.
According to the inquiry, dichloromethane, a substance known to produce carbon monoxide, was used to dilute the pesticide.
According to the inquest, the couple sealed the room with masking tape around the door. They returned to their adjacent room for the night several hours later.
Their 12-year-old granddaughter Molly, who was sleeping on a single bed in their room, started feeling sick. In the early morning, Cooper took her to her mother Ormerod’s room.
The next day, Ormerod went to check on her parents since they didn’t join her for breakfast. She discovered that her father, a builder, and her mother, who worked as a cashier at a Thomas Cook currency exchange, were both very sick. Her father was pronounced dead in the room and her mother passed away a few hours later at the hospital.
Rephrased: Dr. James Adeley, the senior coroner for Lancashire who presided over the Preston coroner’s court, determined that the deaths on August 21, 2018 were due to the use of a pesticide containing dichloromethane in an adjacent room. The couple inhaled the resulting vapor, leading to their deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning.
He stated that the spraying had produced enough vapor to seep through the door and harm the couple.
In a statement read outside Preston coroners’ court on Friday, Ormerod said: “Our family still struggle to comprehend what we went through that day and feel like it should never have happened. The last few years have been the most traumatic time for all of us.
“It was difficult to go through everything again during the inquest, but it was necessary for the sake of our parents. Our family will never be the same without them.”
During the previous three days, the inquest included testimony from Prof Robert Chilcott, an expert in toxicology. He stated that in underdeveloped countries, the pesticide Lambda is occasionally mixed with dichloromethane, a substance that can lead to the body metabolizing or ingesting carbon monoxide.
During the hearing, Dr. Charles Wilson, a pathologist from the Home Office, testified that the Coopers’ hotel room was not properly secured. He stated that it would be unthinkable for necessary precautions to not be taken in the event of a double death at a UK hotel.
The investigation, which took place five years after the deaths, also revealed multiple efforts to acquire additional documents and information from the Egyptian authorities. This included numerous requests from the Foreign Office.
Dr. Adeley, the coroner, stated that Susan Cooper’s illness progressed quickly and led to her death. However, he criticized the medical care she received at the hotel clinic as being inadequate, as she was only taken to the hospital after a delay of four hours.