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Tue, Apr 23, 2013

Luxor, Egypt Balloonists Back In Businesses

Began Offering Rides Again Sunday For The First Time Since February

Tourists can once again drink in the sights of the pyramids from hot air balloons, as the government there has lifted a ban on such rides put into effect in February.

Tourists from multiple countries, along with the provincial governor Ezzat Saad, took off Sunday morning aboard six balloons for the first sightseeing trips allowed since a balloon caught fire and went down in February. That accident resulted the fatal injury of 19 people, and the serious injury of two others.

While most of the companies have been allowed to resume flights, a report appearing in Ahram Online relayed by UPI indicates that Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Wael el-Maadawy has not cleared Sky Tours ... the company which owned the balloon involved in the accident ... for flying until an investigation has been completed. Investigators say they are focusing on a gas canister that caught fire as the likely cause of the accident.

Shortly after the accident, balloon tour operators threatened to protest if the ban was not lifted. The ballooning business employs hundreds of people in the region, all of whom were laid off when the ban on flights was put into place.



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