Feb 26 2013 By Cheryl Mullin
AT LEAST one Briton is among 18 tourists feared dead in a horrific hot air balloon crash in Egypt.
Two other Britons are believed to have survived after the balloon exploded and crashed in flames in a sugar cane field near Luxor.
There were reports quoting local police as saying that a British male had been killed, while the two survivors were said to be in a critical condition.
The Foreign Office, UK travel organisation Abta and holiday companies specialising in Luxor were all trying to get more information about the crash.
Witnesses described hearing a loud explosion before seeing plumes of smoke as the balloon caught fire.
Christopher Michel described the carnage on Twitter, where he posted a series of photographs showing the balloons ahead of the flight.
He said: “It was the balloon behind mine. I heard a loud explosion and saw smoke.”
Mr Michel, who previously made a balloon excursion with an English pilot, said the Egyptian operation “didn’t feel quite as professional” as that of his first voyage.
The US photographer was taking aerial photographs at the time of the crash.
He told the BBC: “We flew over the ancient ruins. Just before landing in the cornfields, I heard an explosion and saw smoke. I think it was the balloon behind mine.
“I wasn’t sure what had happened at first. It was only when we landed we heard the full extent of what happened.”
He added: “It’s really, really tragic and everyone involved is in a lot of shock.”