Calls For Better Safety After Corfu Deaths

A Wakefield coroner has called on the Government to introduce new EU legislation to prevent deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning in holiday properties after two children from Yorkshire died in Corfu.

David Hinchliff, the West Yorkshire coroner, said safety standards should be improved across Europe following the deaths of Christi and Bobby Shepherd, aged seven and six, in 2006.

Mr Hinchliff has made a number of recommendations after an inquest jury concluded that tour operator Thomas Cook breached its duty of care over the deaths of the children.

In his report, the coroner said: ``During the course of the inquest, the evidence revealed matters giving rise to concern.

"In my opinion there is a risk that future deaths will occur unless action is taken. In the circumstances it is my statutory duty to report to you.''

Mr Hinchliff added: ``The relevant UK Government department should consult, draft, instigate and implement EU legislation on gas installations and carbon monoxide safety and introduce common minimal standards for all hotels, apartments and other holiday premises.

"The Government should do its utmost to encourage and promote through legislation and improvement of safety standards across Europe.''

Christi and Bobby, from Horbury, near Wakefield, died at the Louis Corcyra Beach Hotel, on the Greek holiday island, when they were overcome by fumes from a faulty boiler.

The jury at the inquest, which concluded in May, read out a series of conclusions, which included how Thomas Cook had been misled by the hotel about its gas supply but also that the holiday giant's health and safety audit of the complex was inadequate.

Mr Hinchliff has sent his recommendations to Thomas Cook, the hotel group, the Federation of Tour Operators, ABTA and a number of Government departments.

He has called for Thomas Cook to be at the forefront of an initiative for the travel industry to introduce improvements to the health and safety of holidaymakers, including the installation of carbon monoxide detectors in holiday properties.

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