Tuesday, February 26, 2013

18 killed as hot air balloon explodes in Egypt

hot air balloon explodes in Egypt

It was the deadliest hot air balloon accident in the world in at least 20 years.

A hot-air balloon carrying foreign tourists exploded high in the sky near the southern Egyptian city of Luxor just after dawn on Tuesday, killing at least 18 people and injuring three in the latest blow to the country’s tourist industry.

Health Ministry officials said that the dead included nine Chinese from Hong Kong, four Japanese, two Belgians, two British, and two French, Egyptian state media reported, a total of 19, and four people were missing. The Interior Ministry put the total at 18. Officials in London, Paris and Hong Kong said they were in touch with the Egyptian authorities to determine what happened to their citizens.

The three injured survivors, including the pilot, jumped from the balloon as it exploded, state media reported, quoting an unidentified owner of the company that operated the balloon.

A gas explosion caused the balloon to explodes, EgyNews said.
State media said that around 6:30 a.m., the pilot had been pulling a rope to stabilize the balloon as it landed in a field of sugar cane. Then a gas hose ripped and the fire began.


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