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    Holidaymakers to be evacuated from hotel in Egypt following couple’s death

    Thomas Cook holidaymakers are to be evacuated from a hotel in Egypt following the death of a British couple, with the tour operator citing concerns over “a raised level of illness among guests”.
    The pair who died while staying at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada were named on Thursday as John and Susan Cooper, aged 69 and 64, from Burnley, Lancashire.
    The circumstances of their deaths have not been released and investigations into what happened are continuing.
    Thomas Cook said it would be offering customers alternative hotels in Hurghada from Friday onwards, as well as giving them the option to return home.
    A spokesman for the tour operator said: “We are deeply saddened by the tragic deaths of two of our customers that were staying in the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel in Hurghada, Egypt.
    “The circumstances of their deaths are still unclear. We have also received further reports of a raised level of illness among guests. Safety is always our first priority, so as a precautionary measure we have taken a decision to remove all our customers from this hotel.
    “The Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel was last audited by Thomas Cook in late July 2018 and received an overall score of 96%. We will be contacting those customers due to travel to the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel in Hurghada in the next four weeks to offer alternative holiday options.”
    The listing for the hotel on the Thomas Cook website includes a line saying: “Sorry, there is currently no availability.”
    Susan Cooper was a long-serving employee of Thomas Cook. The news was broken to staff at the Burnley store in Chancery Walk on Wednesday. The shop was closed the following day as a mark of respect.
    Ingo Burmester, the chief of Thomas Cook UK, said: “We are deeply saddened by the deaths of two of our customers while on holiday in Hurghada in Egypt, one of whom was a loyal and long-serving member of our Thomas Cook family.
    “Our focus is on fully supporting their loved ones. We are urgently investigating with the hotel and supporting the local authorities.”
    The Foreign Office said: “We are supporting the family of a British couple who died in Hurghada, Egypt, and we are in contact with the local tour operator.”

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