13 WOUNDED IN BALOON CRASH


Two Britons were among 13 foreign tourists to be injured when a hot air balloon crashed in Egypt, the UK Foreign Office has confirmed.

Three Egyptian operators were hurt when the balloon came down during a tour of the ancient city of Luxor. It is said to have hit a mobile phone mast.

Several people were taken to hospital with minor injuries but have since been released, the governor of Luxor said.

It is the latest of several incidents involving balloons in Egypt recently.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “Two Britons were confirmed injured.

“Their next of kin have been informed and we are providing consular assistance.”

BBC correspondent Christian Fraser said he understood the balloon hit the communications tower on the west bank of the Nile, near the village of Gourna.

There were eight French tourists on board, along with the two Britons, a Canadian, a Dane and a Korean.

A fortnight ago seven tourists were injured in a similar crash.

In late February, three hot air balloons carrying 60 tourists crashed on the same day in separate locations. Seven passengers suffered injuries including broken bones.

Mr Fraser said: “The problem appears to be the number of balloon companies that are working in the area – all of them competing on price.

“So far there have been no deaths but in the past the government has been forced to ground the balloons while it investigates safety.”

SOURCED FROM BBC

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