Luxor balloon crash kills 19; similar trips halted

Ahram Online , Tuesday 26 Feb 2013

Luxor's governor suspended all hot air balloon activities after Tuesday's crash

air balloon
Police and rescue officials lift the bodies of tourists who died after a hot air balloon crashed in Luxor (Photo: Reuters)

The governor of Luxor has suspended hot air balloon activities in the governorate on Tuesday morning following an accident that left 19 dead.

A hot air balloon crashed near Luxor at dawn on Tuesday after a mid-air gas explosion at 1,000 feet (300 metres).

"The governor's decision came in order to calm people after the accident," said Iman El-Hawary, Ahram correspondent in Luxor.

El-Hawary said that 19 tourists were killed in the accident, with three people surviving, including the pilot.

The 19 killed included four Japanese tourists, two Belgium tourists, two French tourists and one Egyptian woman.

"The survivors were 2 English tourists and the pilot," said El-Hawary.

"The bodies of 14 tourists were found and transported to the Luxor international hospital; however four or five bodies are still missing," El-Hawary added.

"The family of the Egyptian woman have not yet been informed that she has died."

The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism has expressed its condolences to the victims of the accident.

Mahfouz Ali, undersecretary at the ministry, told state news agency MENA that the ministry has formed a committee to follow the developments of the accident and stay in contact with the security and health authorities.

In addition, he said that the ministry is in contact with the necessary embassies.

Ali also said that the ministry is in contact with the ministry of civil aviation in order to determine the reasons behind the accident, as it is the aviation's ministry responsibility to carry out safety measures and ensure that the balloon is fit to fly.

Short link: