Hot air balloon pilot tried to land before fatal crash: witness
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 01:12
Feb. 26 - A witness in Luxor, Egypt describes a hot air balloon crash that killed at least 18 tourists when the aircraft's gas pipe burst in mid-air. Lindsey Parietti reports.
▲ Hide Transcript
▶ View Transcript
The blackened remains of a fatal crash.
A gas explosion at 1,000 feet up brought a hot air balloon down on Tuesday in Luxor, Egypt.
The dawn ride over ancient monuments near the Nile left at least 18 dead.
One witness said the pilot had tried to land the balloon before impact, about 30 metres from the ground.
(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) EYEWITNESS, NAME UNKNOWN, SAYING:
"Some people were trying to grab the rope but instead it twisted over the gas pipe and it slipped. So, the hot air balloon began to rise very fast and that's when it caught fire. It then travelled high in the air and once it came back down, the gas pipe burst. The first to jump out of the hot air balloon was the pilot and after him an American tourist, but the rest caught fire."
A local doctor confirmed that the pilot survived after jumping from the basket.
The health minister said one Egyptian was killed, along with tourists from Japan, China, France, Britain and Hungary.
Two British passengers survived and are being treated in a Luxor hospital.
Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code