E. coli caused the death of a British couple who died after falling ill at a holiday resort in Egypt, Egyptian authorities have revealed.

John and Susan Cooper, from Burnley, died in Hurghada on August 21.

No toxic or harmful gas emissions or leaks were found in the couple’s hotel room, but prosecutor Nabil Sadek said forensic tests showed John, 69, suffered acute intestinal dysentery caused by E.coli.

His wife, a 63-year-old Thomas Cook travel agent, had suffered haemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), likely because of E.coli.

Their bodies were released by the Egyptian authorities on Friday.

However, the couple’s daughter Kelly Ormerod disputed the findings and claimed the Egyptian authorities were “looking for someone to blame”.

She told Sky News: “I don’t believe for one minute it caused their deaths. It is unheard of that anyone dies that quickly from E.coli.”

The couple had been fit and healthy before their deaths, their daughter said.

Hugh Pennington, an international expert on E.coli, said it was “extremely unlikely” to have killed the Coopers unless they were infected by a virulent new strain.

“I am very surprised E.coli has been linked to the deaths,” he told The Times.

Thomas Cook said it had “noted the announcement” by the Egyptian prosecutor on the results of the autopsies of John and Susan Cooper, adding: “We have not yet seen the full report and we will need time for our own experts to review it.

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic deaths of John and Susan Cooper. We will continue to offer every support to their daughter Kelly and the rest of their family.”

A spokesman for Steigenberger Hotels AG said: “Since we haven’t seen the full report of the prosecutor yet and considering the fact that controls and examinations at Hotel Aqua Magic are still ongoing, obviously we cannot confirm that the family was infected through food consumed on the hotel premises.”

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