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Egypt balloon flights to resume after deadly crash

Published on Mar 24, 2013 6:36 AM
A hot air balloon flies over the Hatchepsout temple (top R) near Luxor on October 14, 2011. A hot air balloon exploded and plunged to earth at Egypt's ancient temple city of Luxor during a sunrise flight on February 26, 2013, killing up to 19 tourists, including Asians and Europeans, sources said. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

CAIRO (REUTERS) - Egypt will allow again hot air balloon flights which were halted in February when 19 people were killed in a crash near the ancient town of Luxor, state media said on Saturday.

Mostly Asian and European tourists were killed in the crash after a balloon caught fire following a mid-air gas explosion near the Valley of the Kings and pharaonic temples popular with travelers. One Egyptian was also killed.

Tour operators would be allowed again to conduct hot air balloon flights from April 1, Civil Aviation Minister Wael al-Maadawi told state news agency Mena.

He said authorities had improved safety rules and would enforce more maintenance controls at balloon flight operators.

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