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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Turkish hot air balloon crash kills two Spaniards

Istanbul: Two Spaniards were killed and three others injured on Tuesday when their hot air balloon crashed in high winds in the tourist magnet of Cappadocia in Turkey, local authorities said.


"The hot air balloon came down abruptly at 8:50 am (0550 GMT) after it unexpectedly became very windy," said the governor's office in Nevsehir, the central province where the spectacular high plateau of Cappadocia is located.


The balloon, which took off from a monastery near the town of Avanos, was carrying 28 tourists and two crew members. The authorities said they had launched an inquiry into the accident. Hot air balloon trips are a key attraction in Cappadocia, which is famous for its ancient troglodyte villages and "fairy chimneys", fashioned out of the rock by millennia of erosion.


There have been several balloon accidents in recent years. Three Brazilian tourists died and 22 other people were injured when two hot air balloons collided in 2013. In 2017, a Danish tourist died when a balloon crash-landed in high winds. Two months later a French diplomat was killed and several other people were injured when their balloon hit a power line.


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