By Henry Williams
Tourists from Hong Kong, Japan, Belgium, the UK, France and Egypt are among the dead in a hot air balloon crash in Luxor, Egypt on Tuesday morning, according to local government sources.
The hot air balloon reportedly fell from 300 meters, killing 19 of the 22 people on board. Only the Egyptian pilot and two others survived.
Update #1: Here’s a video of a previous [extremely gorgeous] Luxor balloon ride.
Update #2: Christopher Michel was on the balloon behind the one that exploded and provides this pictures from the scene before the incident.
Update #3: NBC News is reporting the following casulaties:
9 from Hong Kong, 4 from Japan, 2 from the UK, 2 from France and two others who have not been identified.
Update #4: The SCMP’s Jennifer Ngo is quoting Kuoni travel agency, who the Hong Kong dead were travelling with as saying that three families were involved.
Update #5: Kuoni, the travel agent for Hong Kong citizens who were involved today, have issued a statement (Google Translated):
Egypt hot air balloon event – News
Xinhua today (February 26) afternoon just received Egypt news, Xinhua package tours SEB10-0222 nine group members to participate at their own expense a hot air balloon activities in Luxor, met with accidents, the Society is now with the local follow-up as soon as possible to make appropriate arrangements for the tour leader and tour guide, contacted by the impact of the group Friends of the families and sent staff to the local assistance today. If you have any queries, please contact the Head Office spokesman Raymond Ng, Phone 2956-6883 update date: 2013 February 26, 2009 15:07
Update #6 (5:13pm): A first picture of the scene of the crash.
Update #7 (5:25pm): Storyful are reporting that the balloon company involved are Sky Cruise of Egypt.
Update #8 (12:18am): The number of dead was revised down to 18, but then one of the injured died, bringing the total dead to 19, nine of whom were from Hong Kong.
Here is video of the statement from Kuoni, the Hong Kong travel agent: