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Fuel leak caused Luxor balloon crash: Aviation ministry

Hot air balloon accident that killed 19 tourists in Luxor in February 2013 was caused by a fuel leak, says official report

Ahram Online , Tuesday 7 Jan 2014
Egypt
Tourists ride a hot air balloon before sunrise in Luxor, Egypt (File Photo: AP).
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The hot air balloon accident that killed 19 tourists in the Upper Egyptian city of Luxor in February 2013 was caused by a fuel leak, the civil aviation ministry has said in its final report.

The report, issued on Tuesday, said a fuel leak in one of the tubes feeding the balloon's burner was ignited, which caused a huge fire that seriously injured the pilot and propelled the balloon into an uncontrollable ascent until it eventually collapsed as the fire spread and crashed.

The report ordered new precautions to prevent such accidents from recurring.

Tourists from the UK, France, Belgium, Hungary, Japan, Hong Kong and Egypt were among the deceased. The pilot and a British tourist were the only survivors.

Hot air ballooning was briefly halted in the tourist hub but resumed two months after the accident.

In March, former civil aviation minister Wael El-Maadawy said the company responsible for the accident – SkyTours – would not resume ballooning activities until investigations were concluded.

The previous hot air balloon accident in Luxor, which left 16 people injured in 2009, led to a halt in all air balloon activity for six months until security measures were implemented.

Other accidents took place in 2007 and 2008, but caused no casualties.

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