Leading charity offers help to daughter of Lancashire couple who died in Egypt

An organisation, that helped the parents after the deaths of two children from carbon monoxide poisoning in Greece, has offered to help to the family of Burnley couple John and Susan Cooper who died in Egypt last week.

Wednesday, 29th August 2018, 9:58 am
Updated Wednesday, 29th August 2018, 11:06 am
The director of a leading organisation, which worksto reduce deaths and injuries from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning and othergasdangers, has offered to help the daughter of John and Susan Cooper who died in Egypt.

CO-Gas Safety was launched in 1995 and is an independent registered charity which works to reduce deaths and injuries from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning and other gas dangers.

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Offering her sincere condolences to Kelly Ormerod, the daughter of John and Susan Cooper, who died in the Egyptian resort of Hurghada, the charity's president and director Stephanie Trotter OBE, said: "We would like to offer free help and advice to Kelly who wishes to find out what caused her parents' death.

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"CO can be emitted from any faulty heating or cooking appliance, from a generator or vehicle being powered by any carbon based fuel that burns (gas, coal, wood, oil, petrol, diesel etc.) and it cannot be sensed using human senses.

"However, other products of combustion can smell.

"The issue is whether or not the deaths were natural or from some other cause.

"Various causes of death have been suggested such as heart attack and grief on the one side and unnatural causes such as food poisoning or carbon monoxide poisoning on the other.

"What Kelly and everyone needs is the truth."

The charity stepped in to help the family of brother and sister Christi and Bobby Shepherd when they died from carbon monoxide poisoning during a holiday in Corfu in 2006.

The children died after being overcome by fumes from a faulty boiler.

Stephanie, who is a barrister although she is not practising at the moment, was awarded an OBE for her work on gas safety.

She rang the hospital in Greece at the time of the tragedy to suggest testing the children for CO poisoning. She also recommended that the parents instruct gas expert Harry Rogers, which was at the parents’ expense, to undertake an examination of the faulty boiler before recommending a top barrister, Leslie Thomas QC, to represent the family at the inquest in 2015.

Stephanie added: "In our opinion, without Harry’s evidence, Leslie’s skill and the parents’ courage and determination, the facts would not have emerged.

"This all arose from our experience of victims who, not knowing what to do, called to ask for independent and impartial help.

"Thomas Cook and the Egyptian Government seem to be in charge and are certainly in possession of the evidence.

"With all due respect, any investigation should not only be impartial but be seen to be impartial."

Stephanie pointed out that if the Coopers' bodies are repatriated to England their presence will provide jurisdiction for an English coroner to investigate.

She added: "The coroner will then almost certainly order a post mortem and causes of the deaths will be investigated.

"The family would have the right to have their own pathologist present at the post mortem or a second post mortem but this would probably be at their expense.

"The family could also instruct an expert to investigate.

"If CO is suspected a simple blood test will either prove or disprove this as a cause of death. Testing the room and finding nothing suspicious doesn’t rule CO out because any source of CO could have been extinguished and the room well ventilated before sampling took place.

" It seems strange that a blood test wasn’t undertaken straight away to rule CO in or out.

"If that blood test proves to be negative then obviously other causes such as food poisoning, Legionnaires should be investigated and natural causes considered. "