Travel firm in Corfu tragedy denies death charge report

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The Independent Online

Thomas Cook has denied that one of its representatives has been charged with involuntary manslaughter after the deaths of two children in Corfu. Greek officials claim otherwise.

Christianne Shepherd, seven, and her six-year-old brother Robert were dead, poisoned by fumes, when chambermaids found them at the Louis Corcyra Hotel last Thursday. In the next room, their father Neil Shepherd, 38, and his partner Ruth Beatson, 27, were both critically ill.

Post-mortem examinations confirmed the children died from carbon monoxide poisoning after fumes from a gas-fired boiler leaked into their bungalow.

Police on the holiday island said yesterday that a file had been passed to the prosecutor, who had charged the hotel director, general manager and maintenance manager, staff from the companies that installed the air conditioning and the gas systems as well as a Thomas Cook representative, who inspected the hotel.

All could face five years in jail, if found guilty.

But the British tour operator denied one of its representatives had been charged. In a statement, it said: "Thomas Cook can categorically confirm no charges have been issued against the company or any of its officers by Greek police or any other Greek authorities."

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