1 killed, 12 injured in hot air balloon crash on South Korea's Jeju Island

A policeman stands at the scene of a hot air balloon crash in South Korea's southern resort island of Jeju on April 12, 2018.
A policeman stands at the scene of a hot air balloon crash in South Korea's southern resort island of Jeju on April 12, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

JEJU - The pilot of a hot air balloon was killed and 12 tourists were slightly injured on Thursday (April 12) after their balloon crashed into a hill on the southern resort island of Jeju, firefighters said, Yonhap news agency reported.

The accident occurred north of the Mulyeongari-oreum volcanic cone in the city of Seogwipo at around 8.10am. A witness, who was collecting edible wild plants at the time of the crash, reported it to a local fire station.

The pilot was rushed to a hospital in a state of cardiac arrest but was later pronounced dead, while the 12 passengers were transferred to hospitals, firefighters said.

According to Yonhap, the hot air balloon from Oreum Hot Air Tour Co. that carried the 13 people was flying towards a ranch in the city.

The firefighters and police are looking into the cause of the accident and believe that the balloon collided into a tree and lost altitude while landing.