Egypt balloon tragedy

Hong Kong forensic experts to examine bodies of Egypt balloon accident victims

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 February, 2013, 5:00pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 February, 2013, 6:55pm

Hong Kong’s forensic experts will soon examine the bodies of nine Hong Kong tourists who died in a hot-air balloon accident earlier this week.

The experts – including a forensic pathologist and a specialist in the identification of bodies – are part of a seven-member team who arrived in Egypt on Thursday to join another team of government officers to help the victim’s families.

They will assess the condition of the bodies before helping the victims’ relatives to identify them, senior immigration officer Lee Kwong-wah said in Cairo on Thursday.

The nine Hongkongers were among 19 tourists who died after the sightseeing hot-air balloon they were aboard burst into a fireball shortly before landing in the ancient city of Luxor. Their bodies are badly burnt.

The pilot and a British tourist survived. They were both injured. The pilot suffered severe burns and remained in an intensive care unit in hospital.

The accident is understood to have happened when a cable got tangled around a gas tube and a fire broke out.