Two British holidaymakers, who stayed at the same hotel in Bulgaria, died as a result of Legionnaires' disease shortly after their return to the UK.

John Cowan, 43, and Brian Taylor, 75, both stayed at the Kalofer hotel in Sunny Beach, a seaside resort on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, after booking with the Jet2 Holidays tour operator. .

Their families commissioned specialist lawyers to check whether their illness was related to the hotel.

Brian Taylor and his wife for 41 years, Nancy Sykes-Taylor, 84
Mr. Taylor photographed with his 41-year-old wife, Nancy

Mr. Taylor, whose wife, Nancy, has dementia and is being cared for in a retirement home, was admitted to the hospital with flu-like symptoms after returning to Huddersfield after a week of leave alone.

He died several weeks after Cowan of Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, died of legionnaires' disease in June.

Jatinder Paul, of the law firm Irwin Mitchell, who represents Mr. Taylor's family, said that they were "naturally torn" and that they "were struggling to cope with what s & # 39; He had passed.

Taylor's grandson, Martin Farrell, said his stepfather was "very independent" and that he was "in great shape" before going on vacation.

"He loved mom very much and would go out and see her every day," said Farrell.

"There was nothing stopping him from visiting.

"When he collapsed and was admitted to the hospital, we could not believe it.He had to be sedated and it was horrible to see him like that in the l 39; intensive care unit. "

Taylor's daughter-in-law, Lorraine Williams, 54, added, "We can not believe what happened … One minute Brian was going on vacation and then he was gone.

Brian Taylor's daughter-in-law, Lorraine Williams, and step-son Martin Farrell. Pic: Irwin Mitchell
Lorraine Williams and Martin Farrell say their stepfather was "in good shape" before his vacation. Pic: Irwin Mitchell

"Brian was a wonderful man who would do anything for his family.We are sorry for the way he died and for the fact that he never had to say goodbye to mom."

"Nothing can compensate for Brian's death, but we need to know what happened."

Mr. Cowan's family, represented by Digby Brown Solicitors, said he was "devastated" by his death.

His brother Barry Cowan said, "We just want answers – to know why this happened, to know that it will never happen to anyone else – and to find out why the tour operator and the hotel have not done anything to help. "

John Cowan, 43, died in June. Pic: Digby Brown's lawyers
John Cowan, 43, died in June. Pic: Digby Brown's lawyers

Irwin Mitchell says another man has also educated them after contracting legionellosis, pneumonia and sepsis as a result of a stay at the Kalofer hotel with his wife in June.

He was admitted to the hospital after being diagnosed on his return to the UK and was placed in a coma induced in intensive care, the law firm said.

They added that the man had been released since, but it is unclear how long it will take to recover.

In a statement, Jet2 Holidays said it offered "heartfelt condolences" to the families of Mr. Taylor and Mr. Cowan and was "in constant touch to offer all the help and support possible."

"The health and safety of our customers is our top priority," said the firm.

In response, and to support our investigation, two independent specialists were commissioned to take samples from the hotel and a UKAS-accredited laboratory conducted water sample testing to detect any contamination.

"The results of all their tests have been negative and we will continue to assist local authorities in their investigations as needed.

"Despite these results, we have taken other precautionary measures, along with other British tour operators in the hotel.

"We have transferred all guests and all bookings this summer to other hotels, and we have also halted the hotel's sales affected for the summers 2019 and 2020".