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Hot Air Balloon Accident: 19 Dead In Egypt (VIDEO)

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Hot Air Balloon Accident: 19 Dead In Egypt (VIDEO)
Hot Air Balloon Accident: 19 Dead In Egypt (VIDEO)

Hot Air Balloon Accident: 19 Dead In Egypt (VIDEO)

19 Tourists Perish in Egyptian Balloon Accident

A hot air balloon carrying sightseeing tourists from around the world crashed near Luxor, Egypt this week, killing 19 people on board.

According to the Guardian, eyewitnesses report that the balloon was at a height of approximately 1,000 feet when it appeared to catch fire and began plummeting to the ground as some panicked passengers began jumping out of the balloon’s basket.

Only two individuals on board survived the fiery crash, including a tourist from Great Britain and the pilot of the aircraft, but both sustained serious burns over 70% of their bodies.

The balloon seemed to catch fire just as the craft was getting ready to descend after making a sunrise flight over the historic region of Luxor, and the fire quickly spread after a gas cannister on board the vehicle exploded.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We can confirm the tragic deaths of two British nationals and one British resident following a hot air balloon crash in Luxor, Egypt earlier today.

“The next of kin have been informed and our thoughts are with them and their families at this difficult time. We are providing them with consular assistance. We can also confirm that one other British national was involved and is in a stable condition.

“We have had consular officials in Luxor since early this morning who have been focused on providing consular assistance and supporting the Egyptian authorities. Our Ambassador to Egypt has met the injured British national and has offered our assistance.”

“What happened in Luxor this morning is a terrible tragedy and the thoughts of everyone in Thomas Cook are with our guests, their family and friends,” said Peter Fankhauser, chief executive of Thomas Cook UK and Continental Europe. He said the firm was providing “full support” to the victims’ families. The UK Foreign Office said it was making urgent inquiries.

The balloon’s fiery crash into a sugar cane field near the Eyptian capital of Cairo is the worst in the country’s history.

Footage, obtained by the Guardian, shows smoke coming from the balloon before it collapses and plunges to the ground. The accident left 19 people, including two Britons, dead.
Mohamed Youssef, the pilot of the balloon from which the video was shot said: “This video was taken by one of my customers. The fire had already started before this video started. The balloon was 2-3 metres from the ground. Then the fire started and after that the pilot jumped because the fire was on his body. Another customer near the edge of the balloon jumped. After the two jumped the balloon rose as a result of the two people jumping and [as a result] of the heat [rising into the balloon]. At 10-15 metres another customer jumped. Then it reached 300 feet. Four people jumped. Then the basket separated from the envelope because of the heat. Then it falls to earth.

On The Web:
Egypt hot air balloon crash kills 19 tourists
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/26/luxor-hot-air-balloon-crash-kills-tourists