The Egyptian authorities have released the names of, and corrected earlier details, concerning the South African killed and two others injured in a hot air balloon crash near the ancient historical city of Luxor in southern Egypt on Friday morning.
In the earlier reports from the Egyptian authorities, it was erroneously stated that a South African woman had been killed and a South African man injured.
“In fact, a South African man was killed, and two South African women – among the 12 injured tourists – sustained moderate injuries,” Egyptian Embassy press attache Ayman Walash told the African News Agency (ANA).
The confusion arose over the name of the dead man, with Egyptian officials only able to transliterate his name from an Arabic government press release into English, and therefore uncertain of the actual gender and correct spelling in English.
“His name reads as Darren Jean Wiggle (sic) in Arabic and the Jean part of the name sounded female initially. He was 34 years old,” said Walash.
“The two women, Linda Embovu (sic), 24, and Pretty Shelly (sic), also 24, sustained contusions and are due to be released from the hospital in several hours,” Walash told ANA. Again the spelling of the names have been transliterated from Arabic into English and their spelling is incorrect.
Walash further confirmed that only 16 people, 15 tourists and one Egyptian employee, were aboard the hot air balloon when it crashed at 7.30am.
“Five of the tourists were from Australia, four from France, two from Argentina, one from Brazil and three South Africans,” Walash confirmed.
The injured, two of them seriously, and are being treated at Luxor’s International Hospital after the injured were rushed to hospital in a convoy of ambulances.
The exact cause of the accident is unknown and further investigations will be carried out, but according to some local media reports strong winds were responsible for bringing the hot air balloon down.
In 2013, 19 tourists were killed when a hot air balloon caught fire in Luxor.
– African News Agency (ANA)