|Listen to Live Jamaican Radio, Listen to Power 106 FM 24x7. Click Here to Listen Free | (Advertisement)|
Egypt hot air balloon crash kills 19
2013-02-26 11:40:10 | (0 Comments)
(AP) — A hot air balloon flying over Egypt's ancient city of Luxor caught fire and crashed into a sugar cane field on Tuesday, killing at least 19 foreign tourists in one of the world's deadliest ballooning accidents.
Luxor Governor Ezzat Saad told reporters that the casualties included French, British, Belgian, Hungarian, Japanese nationals and nine tourists from Hong Kong.
Three survivors, two British tourists and the Egyptian pilot were taken to a local hospital, but one of the Britons later died of injuries.
Egypt's civil aviation minister, Wael el-Maadawi, suspended hot air balloon flights and flew to Luxor to lead the investigation into the crash.
The balloon, which was carrying 20 tourists and a pilot, was landing after a flight over the southern town, when a landing cable got caught around a helium tube and a fire erupted, according to an investigator with the state prosecutor's office.
The investigator said the balloon then shot up in the air.
According to an Egyptian security official, the fire set off an explosion of a gas canister and the balloon plunged some 300 meters or 1,000 feet to the ground. It crashed in a sugar cane field outside al-Dhabaa village just west of Luxor, 510 kilometers or 320 miles south of Cairo.
The official and the investigator spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to talk to the media.
Bodies of the dead tourists were scattered across the field around the remnants of the balloon. An Associated Press reporter at the crash site counted eight bodies as they were put into body bags and taken away.
The security official said all 18 bodies have been recovered.
Hot air ballooning is a popular pastime for tourists in Luxor, usually at sunrise to give a dramatic view over the pharaonic temples of Karnak and Luxor and the Valley of the Kings.
Luxor has seen crashes in the past.
In 2009, 16 tourists were injured when their balloon struck a cellphone transmission tower. A year earlier, seven tourists were injured in a similar crash.
Like our new Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/gleanerjamaica
Follow us on Twitter
Source: The Gleaner/Power 106 News
The opinions on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of The Gleaner. The Gleaner reserves the right not to publish comments that may be deemed libelous, derogatory or indecent. To respond to The Gleaner please use the feedback form.
Go- Jamaica: Home | Business Directory | Jobsmart | Chat | Gallery | Videos | Events