Egypt balloon tragedy

Balloon tragedy latest in long line for Hong Kong tourists

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 February, 2013, 4:29am

Yesterday's ballooning tragedy was not the first fatal accident involving Hong Kong tourists in Egypt and other locations.

In 2006, a speeding tour bus on its way to Luxor from the Red Sea resort of Hurghada, ran off the highway and rolled over, killing 14 Hong Kong residents and injuring 30.

It was one of the deadliest incidents involving Hong Kong tourists.

Because of continuing civil unrest and demonstrations in Egypt, the Hong Kong government has maintained a red alert - the second-highest warning - for outbound travel to that country. It advises against all non-essential visits.

More recently, the most deadly incident involving Hong Kong tourists in foreign countries was the Manila bus hostage tragedy involving a Hong Thai tour group in August 2010.

A former police officer armed with an assault rifle held 22 Hong Kong tourists hostage before killing eight of them.

Mainland roads have also claimed the lives of dozens of Hong Kong tourists.

Three travellers from the city died and 13 were injured when their tour bus crashed in Hubei in June 2006.

Three years earlier, in October 2003, one Hong Kong tourist was killed and nine were injured when their minibus collided head-on with a goods vehicle during a trip to Hunan province. Nine days earlier, three holidaymakers from the city were killed and three injured when their coach rammed into a toppled truck lying on the Huilai section of the Shenzhen-Shantou Highway.

Recent incidents involving tourists of other nationalities in Egypt have mainly involved abductions. Two US tourists and their Egyptian guide were held hostage by Bedouin tribesmen - seeking the release of an imprisoned kinsman - in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula in July last year.

The captives were released unharmed a week later after negotiations between security officials and tribal leaders.



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