Pilot dies in Jeju hot air balloon crash

One person died and a dozen tourists were injured in a hot air balloon crash on South Korea's popular resort island of Jeju yesterday, police said.

The balloon was carrying 12 passengers and a pilot - who suffered a head injury and was later pronounced dead - police said, adding that they were investigating the cause of the crash.

Photos showed the deflated balloon draped over forest trees, with the basket lying on the ground.

"It appears that the hot air balloon somehow fell rapidly and crashed into the trees," South Korea's Yonhap news agency quoted an unnamed rescue worker as saying.

The hot air balloon from Oreum Hot Air Tour was said to have been flying towards a ranch when the incident happened, Yonhap reported.

All 12 passengers suffered minor injuries and were being treated in hospital, police said, without giving their nationalities.

The island off the southern coast of the peninsula is a well-known holiday destination for South Koreans as well as a growing number of Chinese tourists.

More than 15 million people visited the island last year.


PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 13, 2018, with the headline 'Pilot dies in Jeju hot air balloon crash'. Print Edition | Subscribe