Staff jailed after Corfu deaths found working in Cook hotels

Staff jailed after Corfu deaths found working in Cook hotels

A hotel manager convicted over the deaths of two children at a resort in Corfu returned to work at another resort used by Thomas Cook.

It also emerged after a internal investigation by Thomas Cook that Christos Louvros, an electrician who was also convicted over the deaths of Bobby and Christi Shepherd, is still employed at the same hotel where the tragedy took place nine years ago.

The two children died when toxic gas leaked from a faulty boiler at the Louis Corcyra Beach Hotel in Corfu in 2006. No British customers of Thomas Cook have been sent to the hotel since, but Dutch customers have, the firm said.

All Dutch customers at the property were offered the opportunity to move hotel yesterday and Cook senior management requested the immediate removal of Louvros from his post with immediate effect.

George Chrysikopoulos, the Louis Corcyra Beach Hotel’s former general manager, was found guilty of negligent manslaughter of the children by a Greek court and sentenced to seven years in prison.

He was then freed pending appeal but in 2011 his sentence was reduced to three years and suspended.

ITV News revealed that Chrysikopoulos last month became manager of the Mitsis Laguna hotel in Crete, which can be booked through Thomas Cook. The travel group admitted it was unaware until yesterday that he had been working there since April 1. Chrysikopoulos has now been sacked at the company’s insistence.

ITN reported that it discovered Chrysikopoulos was employed at the Crete hotel by doing a simple Google search and questioned Cook’s processes for checking hotels.

Thomas Cook chief executive Peter Fankhauser, who met the children’s parents yesterday, said in a statement: “I felt physically sick when I heard that our hotel partner made this appointment without our knowledge. 

“It is unacceptable that the people convicted of the deaths of Robert and Christianne have been exposed to Thomas Cook customers.”

“As soon as ITN informed us, we took immediate action. Within an hour of being advised, our director of risk and audit immediately departed for the hotel.

“This property has already been certified as compliant with our health and safety requirements and our head of risk and external advisers have today reconfirmed this.”

Fankhauser added: “I am demanding immediate answers from the hotel groups and I will be holding them fully to account. We will not do business with any hotel that exposes our customers to these people. 

“Some hoteliers thought it was acceptable – we absolutely disagree. I can confirm that Thomas Cook Group will shortly be appointing a senior independent expert in this field to carry out a full enquiry and to see how we can improve and to ensure this never happens again.”


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