A hot air balloon caught fire and exploded over Egypt’s ancient temple city of Luxor during a sunrise flight on Tuesday, killing up to 19 tourists, including Asians and Europeans, sources said.
We just learned shortly before 8:00 am: a hot air balloon exploded in Luxor. The first results reported killed 19 tourists. That would include two Belgians.
According to preliminary information, 19 people were killed on Tuesday in an explosion in a hot air balloon in Luxor in southern Egypt.
“Our embassy in Cairo has set up a crisis center. We are in contact with the governor (of the province of Luxor, Ed), tour operators and organizers of balloon flight, “said the SPF. The call center can be reached at phone number 02/501.40.00.
Side tour operators Thomas Cook and Tui Travel Belgium Belgium (Jetair), indicate that none of their clients had bought a ticket for this tragic ballooning. “There remains the possibility that Belgian tourists themselves have bought their ticket on the spot. We investigate on it, “says Baptiste van Outryve, spokesman for Thomas Cook. This last hypothesis is described as “unlikely” by Florence Heath.
Governor of Luxor adds that other tourists on board were nine citizens of Hong Kong, 4 Japanese, 2 British, 2 French and one Egyptian.
An employee of the company that manages the balloon for his part said that the victims were tourists Korean, Japanese, British and Egyptian. “It’s terrible, really terrible,” said the clerk on the phone told AFP. “We do not know exactly what happened,” she said, crying.
With the driver, 21 people were on board the balloon, flying at an altitude of 300 meters above the Qurna, when the fire broke out in the ball causing it to explode. Some sources suggest the gas as the cause of the fire.
The two survivors, including the pilot of the balloon were transferred to a local hospital. They were seriously injured, according BFMTV.