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Hot air balloon explodes, crashes in Egypt

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LUXOR, Egypt—A hot air balloon carrying a group of tourists crashed after exploding in mid-air.

Authorities say 21 people were on board the balloon for an aerial tour of Egypt’s ancient valley of the kings, which is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

The hot air balloon crashed after it exploded about 1,000 feet in the air.

An eyewitness said the explosion happened as the hot air balloon was getting ready to land near the West Bank of the Nile River.

Rescue workers recovered the bodies of those passengers, some dying from the fire while others were killed when they jumped to their deaths.

In all, 19 Asian and European tourists were killed while two others were hospitalized.

Hot air balloon rides over Luxor are popular among tourists but there have been several crashes in recent years.

Officials say this is the first fatal accident since the tours began in 1989.

The Egyptian government is investigating what exactly happened and plans to talk to the pilot, who was one of the survivors.