In this photograph taken in September 2006 a hot air balloon flies over the Cappadocia area of central Turkey. A similar balloon crashed in the area Friday May 29 2009 , killing a British tourist and injuring nine other passengers.
In this photograph taken in September 2006 a hot air balloon flies over the Cappadocia area of central Turkey. A similar balloon crashed in the area Friday May 29 2009 , killing a British tourist and injuring nine other passengers. INM

Eighteen tourists injured after balloon crash in Turkey

EIGHTEEN tourists have been injured after the hot air balloon they were travelling in crashed into an electricity wire and caught fire.

The balloon was carrying 20 passengers through the Üzengi Valley in Cappadocia, in central Turkey, when it hit the wire and was forced to make an emergency landing, according to the Hurriyet Daily News.

The engine then burst into flames after compressed gas leaked from the balloon's cylinders when it hit the ground.

The provincial health director Rahim Ünlübay said 18 of the passengers were taken to a local hospital and treated for burns. Nine have already been released. Of the 20 tourists, fourteen were understood to be Chinese, two were from the US and two were from Greece.

"All are in a stable condition, no-one is seriously wounded," he said. "However, the pilot's injuries are first degree burns on his arms and head."

Turkey's civil aviation authority has launched an investigation into the incident.


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UPDATE: Fire sweeps through estimated 3000 hectares

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The fire is still burning, now hitting an estimated 3000 hectares

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