Egypt hot air balloon pilot 'knocked out' moments before fatal crash


A number of Australians have been injured in the Egyptian city of Luxor when a hot air balloon was blown off course and crashed.

The mother of one of the Australians onboard a hot air balloon that crashed in Egypt killing a South African tourist says the pilot was knocked out while the balloon was in the air.

A number of Australians were among at least 12 people injured when a hot air balloon carrying foreign tourists over Egypt's ancient city of Luxor crash-landed on Friday.

Zoe Drinkwater from Newcastle was one of those onboard, according to the Seven Network, who spoke to her mother on Saturday.

"As they were coming in to land there was a big gust of wind that came up which then consequently knocked out the pilot," Lainie Drinkwater said.

"The pilot was unconscious ... so no-one was actually steering and operating this balloon so it was just plunging."

There were strong winds on Friday in Luxor which is home to some of Egypt's most famous pharaonic temples and tombs.

The balloon took off at sunrise and flew for 45 minutes at an altitude of 450 metres before the pilot lost control over a mountainous area, Egyptian officials have said, adding the pilot was injured.

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is providing consular assistance to "several Australians" involved in the incident.

An official statement from the Luxor governorate confirmed 12 people were injured. The balloon was carrying 20 tourists.

Source AAP - SBS

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