It was the deadliest hot air balloon accident in the world in at least 20 years. In response, state-run Egyptian media report hot air balloon rides have been banned in the province where the crash happened. Twenty-one people were in the balloon when it dropped about 300 meters (almost 1,000 feet) in the city of Luxor, the Egyptian interior ministry said.
A gas explosion caused the crash, state-run EgyNews reported. Passengers in the balloon included 19 foreign tourists: nine from Hong Kong, four from Japan, three from Britain, two from France and one from Hungary, officials said. An Egyptian pilot and another Egyptian were also on board, Luxor province spokesman Badawi al-Masri said. Three people -- two Britons and an Egyptian -- are hospitalized, and four passengers remain missing. Balloon rides offering panoramic aerial views of the Nile River and the ancient temples of Karnak and Hatshepsut are a popular tourist attraction in Luxor, about nine hours' drive southeast of Cairo.
Until Tuesday's incident, the deadliest accident in recent memory took place in 1989, when 13 people were killed after two hot air balloons collided in Australia. Egyptian government spokesman Alaa Hadidi announced the Cabinet will form a committee from the Ministry of Civil Aviation to investigate the cause of Tuesday's accident, EgyNews said.