The recovery continues this morning for two passengers of a hot air balloon that drifted into power lines over the countryside north of Richmond, then burst into flames and crashed to earth. On board were one pilot and two passengers; one body has been recovered and has been sent to a medical examiner for identification.
Nineteen tourists are dead and two are injured following a hot air balloon explosion 1,000 feet above Luxor, Egypt. The balloon apparently collided with a high-pressure electrical cable, detonating one of its gas cylinders; as it plummeted to the ground, some passengers leaped out "from about the height of a seven-story building," a witness told the BBC. Eighteen, including tourists from the UK, China, Japan, France, Hungary, and Egypt died at the scene, their bodies strewn about the field where the balloon crashed, while the nineteenth victim died in surgery five hours later. The two survivors, the pilot and one passenger, a British tourist, may have saved their lives by jumping. A 2009 hot air balloon accident in Luxor, in which more than a dozen tourists were injured, prompted a six-month suspension of flights as safety standards were tightened and pilots were re-trained; today's accident, by all accounts the worst-ever of its kind, has prompted the city to indefinitely suspend flights. [BBC | AJE]