Egypt denies alleged organ theft after British tourist's death

The Steigenberger Aqua Magic hotel in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Hurghada, where a British couple on holiday died within hours of each other. PHOTO: AFP

CAIRO (AFP) - Egyptian authorities on Sunday (Oct 21) denied reports of alleged organ theft after the body of a British tourist who died suddenly while on holiday was returned home without some organs.

Mr David Humphries, 62, died in the seaside resort of Hurghada on the shores of the Red Sea on Sept 18.

His body was returned to Britain where a second postmortem ordered by a coroner discovered that his heart and some other organs had been removed, a British media outlet said in a report.

Accusing the British media of publishing "flawed reports", the Egyptian state information service (SIS) said allegations of "organ theft are unfounded".

The statement said that samples were taken and the heart, parts of the liver, kidneys and other organs had been removed in order to establish the cause of death. It did not give an explanation as to why they had not been replaced.

The service said the tourist had probably died of a heart attack, citing the medical report.

It also quoted his daughter, Ms Anita Goodall, as saying that she did "not accuse anyone of having a hand in the death of her father".

In another case in Hurghada on Aug 21, travel operator Thomas Cook moved all its clients to another hotel after a British couple died in what their daughter called "suspicious" circumstances.

Egyptian authorities say Mr John Cooper and Ms Susan Cooper, who fell ill and died suddenly while staying at the five-star Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel in the resort, succumbed to the effects of an E. coli infection.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.