Egypt agrees with Thomas Cook to inspect the hotel thoroughly after the death of the British couple

The country depends to a large extent on the income generated by tourism after a few years to the downside

Egypt’s Minister of Tourism, Rania Al Mashat, announced Thursday that a thorough inspection will be carried out at the ‘Hotel Steigenberger Aqua Magic’ in the city of Hurghada, on the shores of the Red Sea, following the death of a British couple. The Office of the Prosecutor will examine hygiene conditions throughout the tourist complex.

This was announced after the celebration in Cairo of a meeting between the Egyptian Prime Minister, Mostafa Madbuli, and the CEO of the tour operator Thomas Cook, who managed the trip, Peter Fankhauser. The agency evacuated as a precaution its 300 clients two days after the events.

Fankhauser has traveled to Cairo to meet with Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouly, to whom he has expressed his desire to “get to the bottom” of the matter, according to a statement from the tour operator.

The couple, John and Susan Cooper, 69 and 61 years old, respectively, died on August 21 with just a few hours apart. John did it in the same hotel, while his wife died shortly after in a nearby hospital.

“The autopsies of the two bodies are being carried out and will conclude during the next week,” Al Mashar said in a statement.

The Egyptian Government hopes to repatriate the corpses of the British couple next week. Everything will depend on the forensic analysis that a team of pathologists are carrying out to explain the reasons for the death. The first autopsy ruled that the deaths were due to natural causes.

AN INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION

During the visit to Egypt, Fankhauser has also met with the British ambassador in the country, John Casson, and the head of the company’s Hurghada research, Helen Winterton, to discuss the next steps to take, both to continue helping the family of John and Susan Cooper as the rest of British tourists, according to the Egyptian authorities in a statement.

“Once the autopsy is completed, our priority will be to contact the Cooper family in England and explain what we have discovered,” said Al Mashat, who has stated that the entire process will be “totally transparent” and “independent.”

He also noted that Egypt’s Attorney General, Nabil Sadeq, is conducting another forensic study at the hotel where food, water, and the air conditioning system are being examined. Sadeq had already claimed that a preliminary investigation in the Cooper’s room ruled out that there was any kind of toxic substance or noxious gas.

“We will get to the bottom of the matter and determine the truth with evidence,” concludes Al Mashat, who says that all the results of the investigations will be made public.

Egypt depends to a large extent on the income generated by tourism. After a few years of decline due to instability in the country and the region, the industry has recovered with a 77% increase in profits during the first half of 2018, compared to the same period of 2017.