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Egyptian authorities resume hot air ballooning over Luxor after incident

Egyptian authorities resume hot air ballooning over Luxor after incident
A hot air balloon flies over the desert near Luxor, Egypt, Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014.   -  
Copyright © africanews
Jon Gambrell/AP


Egyptian authorities on Wednesday resumed hot air ballooning over the ancient city of Luxor following a two-day hiatus after two tourists were lightly injured during a ride.

A hot air balloon with 28 tourists drifted off course Monday because of a change in the direction and speed of winds. The balloon was at an altitude of 60 meters (197 feet) when it veered off course.

Before landing in an open area, the balloon slightly collided with another one.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation said it decided to resume the rides after reviewing “all safety measures and steps taken” to operate the popular flights.

It said the two firms operating the balloons involved in Monday's incident were still suspended until investigations completed.

Hot air ballooning over Luxor, 510 kilometers (320 miles) south of Cairo, offers tourists spectacular views of ancient temples in the city.

However, ballooning accidents are not uncommon. A hot air balloon crash near Luxor in 2013 killed 19 tourists, likely the deadliest such accident on record.

In 2009, 16 tourists were injured when their balloon struck a cellphone transmission tower. A year earlier, seven tourists were injured in a similar incident.

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