Inquest rules Burnley couple John and Susan Cooper died of carbon monoxide poisoning in their hotel on family holiday in Egyptian resort of Hurghada
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John Cooper and his wife Susan fell ill while on a family holiday in Hurghada on August 21st, 2018.
A three day inquest held this week into their deaths heard the next-door room had been fumigated following a report of a bedbug infestation.
James Adeley, senior coroner said the couple were poisoned overnight.
Mr Cooper (69) and his wife, (63) had been enjoying a family holiday with their daughter, Kelly Ormerod, and her three children while staying at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel, Preston Coroner's Court heard.
But around lunch time on the eighth day into their holiday the room next to theirs, which had an adjoining locked door between them, was fumigated with pesticide, known as Lambda, for a bedbug infestation. The room was then sealed with masking tape around the door.
Hours later the couple returned to their room for the night but were found seriously ill the next morning by Kelly who went to their room when they failed to appear for breakfast. Mr Cooper was declared dead in the room and Mrs Cooper, who worked in the Burnley branch of the Thomas Cook bureau de change, died hours later in hospital.
The inquest heard in some countries the pesticide Lambda is sometimes diluted with another substance, dichloromethane, which causes the body to metabolise or ingest carbon monoxide.
Following the hearing, Dr Adeley ruled the deaths, on 21 August 2018, were caused by carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of inhaling the vapour from spraying the pesticide which contained dichloromethane. The inquest, five years on, also heard of multiple, repeated attempts to obtain more documents and information from the authorities in Egypt despite numerous requests from the Foreign Office.
Dr Adeley said Mr Cooper's illness and death was rapid, but described the medical treatment provided for Mrs Cooper as not being sufficient after she was taken to a clinic in the hotel before an ambulance was called, creating a delay of four hours before she got to hospital. The Egyptian authorities initially said the couple’s death had been caused by E.Coli.
Ms Ormerod said "Even though we’ve finally been given some closure with these answers around the deaths of mum and dad this should never have happened and nothing can ever take away the pain we have experienced through their loss. Time has moved on but stood still for our family. The past five years have been the most harrowing time of our lives.
"Having to relive everything at the inquest has been harrowing but it was something we had to do for mum and dad.
"We'd do anything to have them back in our lives but we take some small comfort from at least finally having the answers we deserve."
The Coopers were a well known and popular couple in Burnley. They married in 1975 after meeting at the former Hop nightclub in Burnley where John worked as a doorman. The son of a miner, John attended St Mary's Primary and the former Towneley High schools.
He also worked as a window cleaner before going into the building trade, launching his own business, Safe As Houses, which specialised in building properties and extensions.