Almost 200 sick cases lodged against Egypt death hotel before Brit couple died as guests’ lawyer tells of cover-up fears

THE hotel in Egypt where a British couple died mysteriously has been the subject of almost 200 sickness claims, it has emerged.

John Cooper, 69, and wife Susan, 64, died within hours of each other after falling ill on a Thomas Cook holiday.

Mystery still surrounds the deaths of John and Susan Cooper

Around 300 Brits — many who also say they were ill — have been moved from the all-inclusive Aqua Magic Hotel in Hurghada.

One holidaymaker who was sick shared a photo of raw chicken he says the hotel served him.

And a food scientist revealed a “long history” of concerns about the hotel.

Richard Conroy, owner of the UK’s largest holiday sickness compensation firm, said his firm alone had lodged 195 claims against the hotel since 2014.

Food allegtions… at the Aqua Magic Hotel

Of those, 174 related to holidays organised by Thomas Cook.

Mr Conroy said: “Sadly this hotel has a long track record of holiday sickness claims being made against it over a number of years.

“It simply isn’t acceptable and tour operators need to be held accountable.”

Food poisoning kills 420,000 people a year worldwide.

Lawyer Nick Harris, who is representing another 20 families suing the hotel and has previously settled a similar number against it, said he now feared a “cover-up”.

Bev Vanstone needed medical care after suffering food poisoning

Mr Harris, of Leeds law firm Simpson Millar, said: “The government there doesn’t want damage to the tourism industry.

“Thomas Cook doesn’t want its profits damaged and the hotel doesn’t want to be shut down.

“Most of the complaints we are dealing with from this hotel are to do with food.”

Paul Vanstone, 41, who shared the chicken photo, was with wife Bev, his mum and two kids when four of them were struck by stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Paul, from Oxford, said: “My wife was treated for gastroenteritis, my 16-year-old daughter went down with a vomiting and diarrhoea bug, and two days before leaving I had really bad stomach cramps and diarrhoea.”

Pink… the raw chicken the Vanstone’s believe made them ill

Yesterday around 100 Brits who were staying at the hotel landed back in Manchester after being flown home by Thomas Cook.

Dale Watson, 38, from Newcastle, said: “Five of us fell ill. We thought it was food poisoning, but no one really knows the truth.”

The Coopers, of Burnley — where Susan was a Thomas Cook employee — were with daughter Kelly Ormerod and her three kids when they died.

Thomas Cook have removed British tourists from the hotel in Hurghada
AFP or licensors

Kelly, 40, watched her “fit and healthy” parents die in front of her.

But Aqua Magic general manager Dieter Geigerat said there was no evidence to support an illness spate.

He added: “The doctor’s preliminary report indicates that death was due to natural causes.”

A friend of the Coopers said: “The Egyptians seem to have come up with some nonsense that John had a heart attack and Susan keeled over from shock.

“But they were as fit as fiddles.”

One holidaymaker claimed a rep said the couple died from carbon monoxide.

But Egypt’s top prosecutor dismissed the claims of poisonous gas emissions in their room.

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