Hot Air Balloon Crash in Egypt Leaves at Least 18 Dead (Video)

| by Alex Groberman
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A hot air balloon crash near the southern Egyptian city of Luxor left at least 18 people dead and three others injured early Tuesday morning.

Nine Hong Kong, four Japanese, two Belgian, two British and one or two French tourists are believed to be among the decreased. Another three to four people who were believed to be on the hot air balloon are currently unaccounted for.  

As noted by the New York Times, the precise number of fatalities is currently in dispute. Egyptian State media reported 19, while the Interior Ministry thus far has only announced 18.

Among the survivors: the pilot, who reportedly jumped from the balloon just as it was exploding.

The crash occurred at around 6:30 in the morning when a gas hose ripped, sparking a fire. While three people were able to leap from the hot air balloon, the others were not.

It is being reported that the Egyptian Aviation Ministry is examining the pilot’s license and the company which provided the hot air balloon.

(New York Times)