19 Die in Egyptian Balloon Fire

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
By George Hatcher


On Feb 26, 2013, a Sky Cruise Egyptian Airship Balloon, an Ultra Magic N-425 hot air balloon, was on a tourist flight and crashed. The balloon caught fire while being tied down. Original reports said there were eighteen fatalities, and two injured tourists. One of the injured tourists died at the hospital on the operating table.

The pilot and one tourist survived.

Three British, two French, one Hungarian, nine Hong Kong, one Egyptian and four Japanese tourists died when the balloon caught fire and fell into a field.

Two people, including the pilot jumped out before impact. The pilot, who jumped at about 33-49ft is being treated for burns.

Luxor has banned all balloon flight.

Sky Cruise said a gas cylinder exploded on board. Crews were anchoring the balloon when the ropes entangled with the gas system powering balloon, severed the connection, and the gas caught fire.

The British foreign office made this statement:
We can confirm the tragic deaths of 2 British Nationals and 1 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 focussed on providing consular assistance and supporting the Egyptian authorities. Our Ambassador to Egypt has met the injured British National and has offered our assistance”.

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