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Britons killed in Egyptian balloon crash

Britons killed in Egyptian balloon crash Luxor has long been a favourite of visitors to Egypt

As many as 19 tourists have been killed in a hot air balloon crash near the southern Egyptian city of Luxor.

British, French and Japanese nationals are all believed to have been killed in the incident, with two survivors rescued.

The hot air balloon was flying at 300 metres when it caught fire and exploded, eyewitnesses reported.

Luxor has long been popular with tourists.

The site is home to the most famous pharaonic-era ruins in the country, including the Karnak temple and the royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings.

The British foreign office confirmed it was making urgent inquiries with its colleagues in Egypt to confirm reports of British casualties.

Hot air balloon crashes have happened in Luxor before.

Two British women were among 16 injured when their balloon came down in April 2009.

The incident comes at a particularly bad time for the Egyptian tourism industry, which is still struggling to rebuild after political upheaval deterred visitors.