19 Tourists Killed After Balloon Plunges 1K Feet

Tourists from Britain, France, Hong Kong killed in Egypt crash

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Feb 26, 2013 1:19 AM CST | Updated Feb 26, 2013 4:15 AM CST

(Newser) – A hot air balloon flying over Egypt's ancient city of Luxor caught fire and crashed into a sugar cane field early today, killing at least 19 foreign tourists, a security official says. The casualties included French, British, and Japanese nationals, as well as nine tourists from Hong Kong. Three survivors of the crash—two tourists and one Egyptian—were taken to a local hospital; one UK resident later died there, add the BBC. According to the Egyptian security official, the balloon was carrying at least 20 tourists over Luxor when it caught fire, triggering an explosion in its gas canister that caused it to plunge at least a thousand feet to the ground.

Rescue workers inspect the scene of the balloon crash outside al-Dhabaa village, just west of the city of Luxor.
Rescue workers inspect the scene of the balloon crash outside al-Dhabaa village, just west of the city of Luxor.   (AP Photo/Hagag Salama)
Tourists ride a hot air balloon before sunrise in Luxor, Egypt in this November 2012 photo.
Tourists ride a hot air balloon before sunrise in Luxor, Egypt in this November 2012 photo.   (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
Egyptians gather near the scene of the balloon crash outside al-Dhabaa village, just west of the city of Luxor.
Egyptians gather near the scene of the balloon crash outside al-Dhabaa village, just west of the city of Luxor.   (AP Photo/Hagag Salama)
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