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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Traveling in Egypt Can Be Dangerous

That reality was brought home to us today when we saw the link on The Drudge Report that read, "18 tourists killed when hot-air balloon plummets 1,000 feet into Valley of the Kings ..."

The link took us to the UK Daily Mail on-line with lots of details, pictures and of course, in this era, even video.

The hot-air balloons are beautiful to watch in the early morning light in Luxor as they drift above the temples.

And if you are on an early morning tour, you might be lucky enough to see one drift almost directly overhead as you walk through the Temple of Hatchepsut.
EgyptBalloon-1 EgyptBalloon-2

But we have seen the work of too many Egyptian craftsmen as I've documented on this blog.  The high-wire acts performed by construction workers and daring-do exhibited by drivers throughout the country suggest to us that these balloons are best enjoyed from the ground.

In the UK Mail article, one victim of a previous crash says:
'I cannot believe this has happened again. They promised to tighten safety procedures after my crash. Flights were stopped for a time.

'These balloons are just too unstable. There is not enough training of staff. There were about 22 or 23 in my balloon when it crashed and maybe there was too many then and too many in today's accident.'

Mrs Lea's injuries included a fractured spine, a broken collarbone, broken ribs and a broken shin.

Her balloon hit a mobile phone transmission tower after a strong gust of wind, sending the balloon crashing to the ground.

Mrs Lea was dragged along the ground and then left in a field for an hour.
That's a good thing to keep in mind and balance with their photo caption," For many tourists, an early morning flight over The Valley Of The Kings is the highlight of their holiday."

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