A Burnley couple were killed by carbon monoxide in a pesticide used in their hotel while on holiday in Egypt, an inquest has concluded.

The inquest into the death of husband and wife John and Susan Cooper concluded today, five years on from their deaths. 

John, 69, and Susan, 63, from Burnley, died whilst on a Thomas Cook holiday in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada on August 21, 2018.

Senior coroner Dr James Adeley opened the case earlier this week by apologising to the family for the case taking so long to reach the Coroner's Court.

Today, at Preston Coroner's Court, Dr Adeley confirmed the couple died from carbon monoxide poisoning by the spraying of a pesticide containing a solvent, named dichloromethane.

This solvent was sprayed in an adjoining room to the couple to eliminate bed bugs, and inhaling the vapour resulted in their deaths by carbon monoxide poisoning.

Senior coroner Dr James Adeley said: "As I said at the outset, my condolences are with the family and friends of John and Sue Cooper.

"For deaths such as John and Susan Cooper to occur in a foreign country and move with such rapidity over a short period of time from good health to death is frightening.

"However, in this case, for their family and friends to have to watch them die would have been a truly terrible experience and they have my deepest sympathies."

Lancashire Telegraph: John and Susan CooperJohn and Susan's daughter, Kelly Ormerod, found her parents at approximately 10.30am in their hotel room on the day of their death, and told the court there was vomit on the floor and vomit in bins containing a clear fluid, which contained no food residue.

Dr Adeley ruled out the possibility of E-coli contributing to Susan and John's death, as Dr Charles Wilson, Home Office pathologist, confirmed the amounts found in testing from post-mortem examinations were not lethal.

After Kelly rang Egyptian doctor Dr Andrew Nimir Nageeb Samaan to help her parents, he tried to administer a cannula to increase John's fluids.

But due to his previous heart conditions, John's heart rate deteriorated and fairly rapidly went into cardiac arrest.

During this period, Susan was left lying on the spare bed in the hotel room with no medical attention by a doctor.

When an ambulance that had been called for John arrived at the hotel, he had already died and was sent away.

There was a delay of up to four hours occurred in transferring Susan to a well-equipped hospital, which Dr Adeley described as "inexplicable."

A report from the Egyptian Ministry of Justice stated: "As a five-member committee, we see that there was a gross professional negligence as the said doctors continue to treat Susan Cooper for more than two hours without having the means to cure similar cases, particularly after the death of the patient's husband in front of them, instead of rushing to transfer her in any equipped ambulance to an equipped hospital with an intensive care whether a specialist able to deal with the situation of the patient."

Their daughter, Kelly, said: “After more than five years of waiting, we’ve finally been given some closure around the deaths of mum and dad. 

"However, whatever the outcome today was, nothing would ever make up for the pain and loss we’ve felt since that day.

“We’d all been looking forward to our family holiday and being able to spend quality time together. 

"We were then faced with total heartbreak.

“Our family still struggle to comprehend what we went through that day and feel like it should never have happened.

"The last few years have been the most traumatic time for all of us. 

“While time has moved on, it’s stood still for our family because of the many unanswered questions we’d had.

“There’s now a huge void in our lives and I don’t think our family will ever fully come to terms with losing mum and dad the way we did. 

"They were both fit and healthy, and to not know how they died has been extremely difficult. 

“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 having the answers we deserve. 

"We now need to try and come to terms with everything. 

"Our family is broken without them.”

Jatinder Paul, the lawyer at Irwin Mitchell supporting Kelly, said: “Losing John and Susan in such sudden and tragic circumstances continues to have a profound effect on the family, including Kelly.

“What’s made their grief all the harder has been having so many unanswered questions regarding their deaths.

“To find out that the couple died from a pesticide that had been sprayed in an adjoining room, leading to carbon monoxide poisoning, is shocking and deeply concerning.

“While we can’t change what they’ve been through, we’re pleased that we’ve at least been able to support the family through the inquest and help provide them with some explanation as to why John and Susan died.

“It’s now vital that lessons are learned to ensure a tragedy like this doesn’t happen to future holidaymakers.”

Dr Adeley gave a narrative conclusion of Susan and John's death, adding: "John James Cooper and Susan Elaine Cooper died on August 21, 2018, whilst on holiday in Hurghada, Egypt.

"Their deaths were caused by the spraying of a pesticide containing dichloromethane in an adjoining room and inhaling the vapour resulting in their deaths by carbon monoxide poisoning."

The family are now campaigning to change laws around British holiday hotels using this solvent for pesticide usage.