Feb 26 2013 By Cheryl Mullin
An AP reporter at the crash site said he saw eight bodies being put into body bags and taken away.
An Abta spokesman said: “We are aware that there have been a number of injuries and fatalities including British nationals following an incident involving a hot air balloon trip in Luxor, Egypt, operated by a local company, Skycruise.
“It is understood that at least 20 people were on board the flight, although it has not yet been confirmed how many of these are British nationals.
“We are working with our members, the Foreign Office and the Egyptian authorities to ascertain more details about the incident. We will issue further information once it becomes available.”
One company with clients in the area is Thomas Cook. “We are getting in contact with our people in Luxor to get the very latest news,” said a Thomas Cook spokesman.
He went on: “Luxor is a popular spot for us and a number of tourists go on balloon trips.”
Hamdy Shabaan, operations manager at another operator, Sinbad hot air balloons, said the basket was on fire when it fell to the ground.
He said there would be no more flights today as they are restricted to take place between 6 and 8am.
Pictures from the scene showed one casualty in a body bag on the ground in front of an ambulance.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are aware of the reports and we are making urgent inquiries with the authorities in Egypt.”
Hot air balloon trips usually take place at sunrise over the Karnak and Luxor temples as well as the Valley of the Kings.