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South Korea

South Korea: fatal hot-air balloon crash on resort island of Jeju

The balloon was carrying 12 passengers and a pilot – who suffered a head injury and was later pronounced dead

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 April, 2018, 12:48pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 April, 2018, 12:48pm

One person died and a dozen tourists were injured in a hot-air balloon crash on South Korea’s popular resort island of Jeju Thursday morning, police said.

The balloon was carrying 12 passengers and a pilot – who suffered a head injury and was later pronounced dead – police said, adding they were investigating the cause of the crash.

Photos showed the deflated balloon draped over forest trees, with the basket lying on the ground.

“It appears that the hot air balloon somehow fell rapidly and crashed into the trees,” South Korea’s Yonhap news agency quoted an unnamed rescuer as saying.

All 12 passengers suffered minor injuries and were being treated in hospital, police said, without giving their nationalities.

The island off the southern coast of the peninsula is a well-known holiday destination for South Koreans as well as a growing number of Chinese tourists.

More than 15 million people visited the island last year.