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Tour operator apologises to parents of children killed by faulty boiler

Christianne and Robert Shepherd died from carbon monoxide poisoning in 2006.

Corfu fume deaths Undated police handout photo of Christianne and Bobby Shepherd Source: West Yorkshire Police/PA Archive/Press Association Images

A HOLIDAY COMPANY has apologised to the parents of two children who died from carbon monoxide poisoning while on holiday.

Christianne, 7, and Robert Shepherd, 6, from Horbury in West Yorkshire, were killed by fumes from a faulty water boiler in 2006 in Corfu at the Louis Corcyra Beach hotel.

It is being reported that a letter of apology has been sent from chief executive of Thomas Cook, Peter Frankhauser, to parents Neil Shepherd and Sharon Wood.

However, the Guardian has said that the parents of the children have not received the letter, and have branded the move a public relations exercise.

HEALTH Gas Source: Family Handout/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Compensation

This comes after reports that the company received a large payout after the incident for loss of profits through cancelled bookings and additional staffing costs.

The Mail on Sunday has reported that the tour operator received in the region of £3.5 million (€4.83 million) in compensation after the deaths in 2006.

A spokesperson for the company is quoted in the paper, saying, “the health and safety of our customers is paramount. The systems which were in place in 2006 have since been throughly revised. We had the right to reclaim costs related to the trial from the hotel. The costs incurred by the company far exceed the amount received.”

A spokesperson for the company went on to say that it was “shocked and deeply saddened” by the deaths.

Carbon monoxide awareness campaign launched The boiler from the hotel room where Christianne and Robert died Source: PA WIRE

Incident 

The incident happened in 2006 when the two children were killed by a leak from a faulty boiler while they slept in their hotel room.

It happened when the children were on holiday with their father Neil Shepherd and his partner Ruth Beatson. Both of them were also overwhelmed by the gas and lapsed into comas. There were discovered by a chamber maid the following morning and recovered at a local hospital.

At a criminal trial in Greece in 2010 three employees from the Louis Corcyra Beach hotel were found guilty of negligent manslaughter.

Last Wednesday an inquest in Wakefield, Yorkshire, brought back a verdict of unlawful killing of the two children, and said that Thomas Cook breached its duty of care.

Read: Toddler in Utah horrifically ‘beaten to death over a dirty nappy’

Also: Families say gardaí didn’t investigate violent deaths properly

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