19 tourists killed in hot air balloon accident in Egypt

hot air balloon acident  egyptThe terror lasted less than two minutes: Smoke poured from a hot air balloon carrying sightseers on a sunrise flight over the ancient city of Luxor, it burst in a flash of flame and then plummeted about 1,000 feet to earth. A farmer watched helplessly as tourists trying to escape the blazing gondola leaped to their deaths.

Nineteen people were killed Tuesday in what appeared to be the deadliest hot air ballooning accident on record. A British tourist and the Egyptian pilot, who was badly burned, were the sole survivors.

The tragedy raised worries of another blow to the nation’s vital tourism industry, decimated by two years of unrest since the 2011 revolution that toppled autocratHosni Mubarak. The southern city of Luxor has been hit hard, with vacant hotel rooms and empty cruise ships.

It also prompted accusations that authorities have let safety standards decline amid the political turmoil and infighting, although civil aviation officials said the balloon had been inspected recently and that the pilot may have been to blame, jumping out rather than stopping the fire.

Authorities suspended hot air balloon flights, a popular tourist attraction here, while investigators determined the cause.

The balloon was carrying 20 tourists — from France, Britain, Belgium, Japan and Hong Kong — and an Egyptian pilot on a flight over Luxor, 510 kilometers (320 miles) south of Cairo, officials said. The flights provide spectacular views of the ancient Karnak and Luxor temples and the Valley of the Kings, the burial ground of Tutankhamun and other pharaohs.

Houston Chronicle

  • Hannibal

    Just awful. RIP

  • Hannibal

    Just awful. RIP

  • 5thDrawer

    Deadliest was in Australia … but none are nice.

  • 5thDrawer

    Deadliest was in Australia … but none are nice.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYRtmMxB5yw CrossWinds

    John 3:16
    For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

  • Plumbline

    John 3:16
    For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

  • El Chapo

    Seems like the pilot knew something the others did not .

    Anyway …..

    Will I ever travel to Egypt ? No
    Would I travel on a hot air balloon ? No …
    Add them both up ..and the lesson is
    I get to continue posting witty insights into travel and ballooning
    ..others who do travel and hot air balloon …don’t.

    • 5thDrawer

      Well, avoid cars then … but yes, when you don’t know the safety standards of a place always assume ‘none’ – especially when doing something on the ‘risky’ side of ‘life experiences’.
      And then, of course, there was my youth … hehehe
      But inspecting the balloon seems not to have been a problem … and the balloon wasn’t the reason … someone should look at the gas tanks and burners on occasion too. Or even what they are filled with.
      If something lights a fire under your ass you’d probably jump too ….

  • El Chapo

    Seems like the pilot knew something the others did not .

    Anyway …..

    Will I ever travel to Egypt ? No
    Would I travel on a hot air balloon ? No …
    Add them both up ..and the lesson is
    I get to continue posting witty insights into travel and ballooning
    ..others who do travel and hot air balloon …don’t.

    • 5thDrawer

      Well, avoid cars then … but yes, when you don’t know the safety standards of a place always assume ‘none’ – especially when doing something on the ‘risky’ side of ‘life experiences’.
      And then, of course, there was my youth … hehehe