Belfast Telegraph

Monday 20 October 2014

Balloon pilots defend colleague

Dignitaries pay their respects to tourists from Hong Kong killed in a hot air balloon accident in Luxor, Egypt (AP)

Hot air balloon pilots in the Egyptian city of Luxor have defended their colleague who survived this week's crash in which 19 tourists were killed.

Tuesday's crash was one of the world's deadliest ballooning accidents. Initial reports said the balloon was in the process of landing when a cable got caught around a gas tube and a fire erupted.

Pilots who know the Egyptian pilot, Momin Murad, say he has an eight-year track record of flying balloons without incident. The pilot, who suffered severe burns, and a British tourist were the only survivors.

In a press conference in Luxor, the pilots also defended Egypt's safety measures for the popular tourism activity, saying the company that operated the balloon which crashed had cancelled trips the previous day due to bad weather.

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz