Tuesday, April 28, 2009

More re balloon accident in Luxor

BBC News

With my thanks to Peter White

Two British women injured when a hot air balloon crashed in Egypt remain in hospital, the UK Foreign Office has confirmed.

Three Egyptian operators and 13 foreign tourists were hurt when the balloon came down during a tour of the ancient city of Luxor.

Several people were taken to hospital with minor injuries after the balloon apparently hit a mobile phone mast.

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

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.

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