At least 19 people, most of them Asian and European tourists, died when a hot air balloon crashed near the ancient Egyptian town of Luxor after a mid-air gas explosion, officials said.
The balloon came down in farmland a few kilometres from the Valley of the Kings and pharaonic temples that draw tourists to Luxor.
Rescue workers gathered the dead from the field where the charred remains of the balloon, gas canisters and other pieces of wreckage landed.
I’ve been to Luxor and have done that exact dawn balloon trip. It is spectacular seeing the sun come up over the Valley of the Kings.
But chilling to have such a nasty fatal accident at the exact site where I had been three years ago.
All tourist activities have a degree of risk – ballooning in Egypt, safaris in Africa etc. But you do have a real sense of vulnerability when you are stuck in a fairly small basket scores of metres above the Earth, with large hot flames powering the balloon.
After the Carterton accident and now this one, I think it will be a fair while until I go ballooning again. Am thinking of skydiving at some stage though!