Leeds & West Yorkshire

Legionnaires' disease: Second Bulgaria holidaymaker dies after trip

Brian Taylor and wife Nancy Sykes-Taylor Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Brian Taylor, pictured with wife Nancy Sykes-Taylor, became unwell days after returning from the Hotel Kalofer

Two British holidaymakers have died from Legionnaires' disease after returning home from the same hotel in Bulgaria, it has emerged.

Brian Taylor, 75, from Huddersfield, died in July, a month after holidaying at the Hotel Kalofer.

It follows the death of John Cowan 43, from Lanarkshire, who had also been staying at the same hotel in June.

Their holiday firm Jet2 said two sets of independent tests had found no evidence of contamination at the hotel.

Both families are threatening civil legal action against the flight and holiday operator.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Jet2 said it had stopped all bookings to the hotel

Mr Taylor's stepson Martin Farrell said: "We are absolutely devastated and heartbroken. No-one expects to go on holiday and catch this disease."

Mr Farrell said he felt like Jet2 had "washed their hands of the situation" and demanded answers from the holiday firm.

"It feels like they want to sweep it under the carpet," he said.

"We want Jet2 to come forward and tell us why it happened, how it happened and what steps have been put in place to prevent it from happening again."

Irwin Mitchell, the legal firm representing the family, said it had been contacted by another man who was also diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease after holidaying at Hotel Kalofer in June.

It said that man had been placed in an induced coma in intensive care but had since been discharged from hospital.

Image caption Martin Farrell described his stepfather as an "absolutely top man"

Jatinder Paul, from the firm, said: "We are now investigating how Brian contracted his illness and looking into his stay at the Hotel Kalofer.

"It is extremely worrying that other guests who stayed at the same hotel have also contracted this potentially fatal infection."

Mr Taylor became unwell days after returning from the Hotel Kalofer in the Sunny Beach resort where he had been staying from 10 to 17 June.

His condition deteriorated and he was eventually taken to Royal Calderdale Hospital where he was diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease and died on 17 July.

Jet2 said it had transferred all customers and bookings due at Hotel Kalofer to other accommodation and had put a stop on sales for this year and 2020.

A spokesperson said: "We would like to offer our heartfelt condolences to their families at this very difficult time, and we have been in constant contact to offer all the assistance and support that we can.

It added: "We will continue to assist the local authorities in their investigations as required."

The BBC has contacted Hotel Kalofer for a comment.

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