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At Least 18 Dead After Horrifying Balloon Crash In Egypt

The casualties include tourists from Britain, France, Japan, and China.

Last updated on July 3, 2018, at 11:59 a.m. ET

Posted on February 26, 2013, at 8:21 a.m. ET

A hot air balloon caught on fire above Luxor, Egypt, killing several foreign tourists Tuesday. Witnesses said they saw the balloon crash into a sugar cane field after hearing a loud explosion.

The launch site shortly before the balloon explosion.
Christopher Michel / AP

The launch site shortly before the balloon explosion.

"Eight people jumped and they were like balls of fire, some were alive when they landed, but then died on the ground," one witness said.

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STR / Getty Images

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"Then the balloon went up and down again and swept along, then a second explosion occurred when another gas canister exploded."

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STR / Getty Images

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Eighteen people died and three were injured, according to the Ministry of Health.

A victim of a balloon accident is seen in a body bag.
Hagag Salama / AP

A victim of a balloon accident is seen in a body bag.

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The local balloon operators' spokesman and General Mamdough Khaled, Luxor Governate's director of security, said only two people survived.

Egyptians inspect the site where a hot air balloon exploded.
STR / Getty Images

Egyptians inspect the site where a hot air balloon exploded.

The victims reportedly include nine from Hong Kong, four from Japan, two from France, two from Britain, and two who haven't yet been identified.

Rescue workers inspect the scene outside al-Dhabaa village.
Hagag Salama / AP

Rescue workers inspect the scene outside al-Dhabaa village.

This isn't the first crash at the Luxor launching site, according to NBC News. Sixteen tourists were injured in 2009 and seven in 2010 when their balloons hit transmission towers.

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Christopher Michel / AP

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The governor of Luxor has ordered a ban on hot air balloon flights following the accident.

An ambulance crew transport the body of one of the tourists who died.[source]
Egypt / Reuters

An ambulance crew transport the body of one of the tourists who died.

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