The parents of two children who were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning on holiday in Corfu have finally received an apology from travel firm Thomas Cook
Chief executive Peter Fankhauser said he is “deeply sorry” to parents Sharon Wood and Neil Shepherd, and apologised for the company’s handling of the incident.
He added: “As a father I really can only express my deepest sorrow.”
Christi and Bobby Shepherd were poisoned by carbon monoxide at the Louis Corcyra Beach Hotel in 2006.
The children aged six and seven, were overcome by fumes from a faulty boiler, resulting in their deaths.
Their mum and dad were both found in a coma next to their bodies but survived.
Mr Fankhauser added: “It is also clear to me that in the past nine years the company could have handled its relationship with the family better and treated them with more respect and for that I am sorry.”
A two-week inquest heard there were multiple flaws in the installation and maintenance of the hot water boiler.
Customers have reportedly threatened to boycott booking holidays through Thomas Cook after it emerged the firm received around £3 million compensation from the hotel chain responsible for the incident.
It is understood they will be donating £1.5 million to the charity Unicef.
The parents are calling for the building where the children died to be demolished and turned into a playground in their memory.
Since the tragedy in Corfu nine years ago, the issue of holiday safety and carbon monoxide poisoning has been brought back into focus.
The Association of British Travel Agents say incidents like this are “extremely rare”.
Campaign groups have warned holidaymakers to be alert and to consider buying an audible carbon monoxide alarm.
Carbon monoxide is produced when fuels such as gas, oil or coal do not burn properly.
When it enters the body, it stops blood from carrying oxygen to cells, tissues and organs.
For more information visit: www.abta.com