At least 18 tourists have been reportedly killed in a hot air balloon crash in Luxor, Egypt early Tuesday morning, reports Ahram Online. 20 foreigners and one pilot were among the passengers aboard the balloon when it crashed. Three people, including the pilot, is said to have survived.
The hot air balloon was flying at 1,000 feet when it caught fire and exploded. The balloon plummeted to the ground and landed in a sugar cane field just west of Luxor, officials said. The victims include nine from Hong Kong, four from Japan, two from the United Kingdom, two from France, and two from Belgium.
An investigation to uncover the cause of the crash is currently in progress.
“We don’t yet know what happened exactly or what went wrong,” an employee at the company operating the balloon, Sky Cruise said.
Luxor is located on the edge of the Nile River and hot air balloon rides are popular tourist attractions to get a scenic view of the area. Luxor has seen hot air balloon accidents in the past including one in 2008 that killed seven and another the following year that killed 16.