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Hot air balloon crash kills 19 in Egypt

Hagag Salama / AP

Egyptians gather at the site of a balloon crash where the debris from the burned gondola rests, outside al-Dhabaa village, just west of the city of Luxor on Feb. 26.

Hagag Salama / AP

Rescue workers remove a body from the scene of a balloon crash outside al-Dhabaa village, just west of the city of Luxor, 320 miles south of Cairo, on Feb. 26.

By Ayman Mohyeldin, Charlene Gubash and John Newland, NBC News

Courtesy Christopher Michel

Balloons float in the air in Luxor before another balloon crashed on Feb. 26.

A hot air balloon carrying foreign tourists caught on fire while it was in the air near Egypt's ancient city of Luxor, killing 19 people, officials said Tuesday.

The blazing balloon crashed to the ground early Tuesday morning, Gen. Mamdough Khaled, director of security for Luxor Governorate said in a statement, according to initial reports.

Khaled said that Luxor International Hospital had received 19 badly burned bodies. Health officials initially said 18 people died, but later said one injured person had succumbed to their injuries. Continue reading.

EPA

Egyptians work at the site where a a hot air balloon crashed, in a field next to the southern Egyptian town of Luxor, on Feb. 26.

Ibrahim Zayed / AP

An Egyptian rescue worker collects remains near the scene of a balloon crash outside al-Dhabaa village, just west of the city of Luxor on Feb. 26.