Tuesday, February 26, 2013

19 Tourists die as hot air balloon explodes mid air near Valley of Kings in Luxor, Egypt

A holiday turns into mourning and deaths as a hot air balloon carrying British, French, Japanese and Chinese nationals exploded mid air near the famous Egyptian Valley of Kings near Luxor.

This picture were taken by a tourist 40 minutes before the hot air balloon on the left exploded in the sky and plunged to the ground

Luxor is 320 miles south of Cairo and is one of Egypt's most popular tourist destinations as it is close to the famous Valley of the Kings, where many pharaohs are buried, including Tutankhamen.

The hot air balloon involved in the crash flies over the memorial temple of Ramses II known as The Ramesseum during December 2012

Eye witnesses heard an explosion, saw smoke and then it fell from the sky - at the time of accident the balloon was approximately 1,000 feet above the ground. However, while the fireball was descending, witnesses saw desperate tourists jumping from flaming basket when it was 70ft above ground.

Eyewitness Cherry Tohamy was in another balloon nearby and told the BBC: 'People were jumping out of the balloon from about the height of a seven-storey building. Our pilot told us that the balloon had hit a high pressure electrical cable and a cylinder on board exploded.'

An employee at the company operating the balloon, Sky Cruise, told Sky News the two Brits survived by jumping from the basket before it hit the ground.

One of the injured survivor and former policewoman Linda Lea, 67, from Stoke-on-Trent, still suffers from the multiple injuries she sustained in that crash.She said today: 'I cannot believe this has happened again. They promised to tighten safety procedures after my crash. Flights were stopped for a time.

Watch the video of the horrific ordeal (added later on 27 February via Mail Online):

Read more about it at: Mail Online
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