Egypt balloon tragedy
Nine Hong Kong tourists were among 19 victims killed in Luxor, Egypt, when a hot-air balloon burst into flames as it was descending during a sightseeing tour on February 26, 2013. Only the Egyptian pilot and a Briton survived the early morning accident. The other victims, out of 20 passengers, were from France, Japan, Britain, Hungary and Egypt.
The Hong Kong Coroner's Court is to hold an inquest into last year's hot-air balloon tragedy in Egypt which cost the lives of nine tourists from the city.
Relatives of the nine Hongkongers who died in a hot-air balloon tragedy in Egypt have won a small but crucial victory, with confirmation that their loved ones were covered by an insurance policy.
A hot air disaster crash in Egypt last year that killed 19 tourists, nine of them from Hong Kong, was probably caused by a gas leak, an official Egyptian report released yesterday said.
Relatives of victims killed in the hot-air balloon crash in Egypt earlier this year are seeking help from the Security Bureau to call for a coroner's inquest and to push for a full report on the tragedy from Egyptian authorities.
The finding by Egyptian investigators that a hot air balloon accident that killed 19 tourists, nine of them from Hong Kong, was caused by pilot error is of cold comfort to the relatives and friends of those who died. Nor is it surprising - the craft had been involved in a mishap two years ago and the country's ballooning industry has a poor record.
Nick Wong lost his mother Ho Oi-ying and three other family members in the hot-air balloon crash that killed nine Hongkongers in Luxor, Egypt, three months ago.
Learning that an official report had pinpointed human error as the cause of the crash, he called on local tour agencies to step up protection for tour members joining optional activities overseas.
Human error was to blame for the hot air balloon disaster in Egypt that killed nine Hongkongers in February, a criminal investigation has found.
A final report on the accident in Luxor concluded the fire in the balloon was caused by a gas leak from a pipe that was installed by an unqualified worker.
Mohammed Ibrahim Sherif, head of the civil aviation authority, said the balloons were launched in the southern city after safety measures were implemented. He said five out of seven firms had resumed flights.
The pilot of the hot-air balloon that crashed in Egypt in February killing 19 people - nine of them Hongkongers - has been arrested and ordered to prison pending the outcome of an investigation, balloon operators say.
But the hospital where Moman Mourad is recovering under police guard, say he is still too ill to be moved.
A teachers' union that is a licensed insurance seller will remind clients to read the exclusion clauses when buying travel policies, a senior officer says. The Professional Teachers' Union was responding to criticism in the aftermath of a hot-air balloon accident in Luxor, Egypt, in February that killed nine Hongkongers.
The importance of travelling with insurance cannot be overstated. When misfortune falls, even the most seasoned travellers can be left in a vulnerable situation. Travel insurance is, therefore, essential. Due to a growing awareness of the risks and liabilities brought on by accidents, few would leave home without taking out some sort of policy today.
In the aftermath of the Egyptian hot-air balloon tragedy, families of the victims have found themselves bitterly disappointed by their travel insurance. The problem? A proviso in some of the victims' policies. While it did cover aerial activities such as parachuting and "air travel as a passenger in a properly licensed power-driven aircraft", it did not include hot-air ballooning.
The lack of a Chinese medicine teaching hospital in Hong Kong has crippled education in this very important field for the past 15 years.
A top executive of an insurance company that has refused to compensate the deaths of six Hongkongers in Egypt claimed yesterday that their policies clearly stated hot-air balloon flights would not be covered.
Three relatives of the deceased, from the Ho and Siu families, spoke to the Hong Kong press for the first time yesterday, after the China Merchants Insurance Company refused to fork out compensation to six of the nine people who died.