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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: At least 19 people, most of them Asian and European tourists, died on Tuesday 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 miles 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. One Egyptian was also killed, Health Minister Mohamed Mostafa Hamed told Reuters, listing the other victims as tourists from Japan, China, France, Britain and Hungary. Earlier, officials had said all the dead were foreigners. The pilot survived by jumping from the basket, said Ahmed Aboud, head of an association representing Luxor balloon operators. Two other survivors, both British, were treated at Luxor hospital, said Mohamed Mustafa, a doctor at the hospital. Travel firm Thomas Cook later said one of the Britons taken to the hospital had died, taking the number of British tourists killed to three. The fatalities were caused by burns and by the impact, Mustafa said.
Feb. 26 - At least 19 people, most of them tourists, died Tuesday when a hot air balloon crashed in Egypt after a mid-air gas explosion. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). ( Transcript )
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