The accident happened on Tuesday when a hot air balloon flying over Egypt’s ancient city of Luxor caught fire and crashed into a sugar cane field, killing at least 19 foreign tourists.
In fact, it was one of the worst crashes involving tourists in the country already struggling with a decimated tourism industry, two years after the 2011 uprising that ousted former leader Hosni Mubarak.
According to an Egyptian security official, the balloon carrying 21 tourists caught fire, which triggered an explosion in its gas canister, then plunged at least 300 meters from the sky as a result crashed into a sugar cane field outside al-Dhabaa village just west of the city of Luxor, 510 km south of Cairo.
Moreover, the casualties included French, British, Chinese and Japanese nationals having two survivors of the crash who were taken to a local hospital with critical injuries. While the bodies of the killed tourists were scattered across the field around the fragment of the balloon.
In fact, An Associated Press reporter at the crash site counted eight bodies as they were put into body bags and taken away.
To conclude, the site of the accident has seen accidents in the past. In 2009, 16 tourists were injured when their balloon stuck a cell phone transmission. A year earlier, seven tourists were injured in a similar crash.
It's really unfortunate and harmful for Egypt as a matter of fact tourism is one of Egypt’s economic pillars and main revenue of foreign currency.
(AW: Samrat Biswas)