One tourist killed in Luxor hot air balloon crash

Ahram Online , Friday 5 Jan 2018

Hot air balloon
A file photo of hot air balloon flying over the ancient Egyptian temple of Habu city at the West of Luxor governorate in 2016 (Photo:AP)

A hot air balloon crashed on Friday in Egypt's Luxor governorate, killing a 36-year-old South African tourist and injuring 13 other foreign tourists as they were on a tour over the Valley of the Kings, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.

The body of the deceased tourist as well as those injured have been taken to Luxor International Hospital, according to a statement by the Ministry of Health.

Two of the wounded suffered serious injuries and are in critical condition.

A security source told Al-Ahram Arabic website that the hot air balloon, which was carrying 20 passengers, crashed due to strong wind.

The ministry of aviation has issued a statement saying that the weather forecasts had indicated that it was safe to fly the balloons, adding that there were 22 balloons flying that day with 452 passengers.

The ministry said that all the other balloons landed safely.

Minister of Aviation Sherif Fathy has ordered the formation of a technical committee to investigate the incident.

The head of the Egyptian Civil Aviation Authority Hany El-Adawy hassaid that balloon flights will not be suspended.

An earlier statement from Luxor governorate attributed the accident to bad weather, Al-Ahram reported.

The governorate has closed all desert roads connecting Luxor with other governorates due to the dusty wind that has hit Luxor since dawn, Al-Ahram reported.

Egypt is currently witnessing windy weather conditions.

In September 2016, Egypt suspended hot air balloon flights for three days over Luxor due to poor weather conditions that led to the injury of a group of tourists in a hot air balloon crash.

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