Egypt grounds hot air balloon rides over Luxor for 3 days

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Cairo - Egypt is halting hot air balloon flights over the ancient city of Luxor for three days, citing poor weather, less than a week after dozens of Chinese tourists were injured when their balloon crash landed.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Civil Aviation Ministry says the temporary ban is due to "bad weather" and "strong winds".

Ahmed Abboud, the head of hot air balloon operators in Luxor, tells Egypt's MENA state news agency that authorities will implement safety measures ahead of an international festival in December. He says hot air balloons will be monitored by cameras and banned from flying above 2 000 metres.

On Tuesday, 22 Chinese tourists suffered minor injuries in a crash landing in Luxor.

In 2013, 19 foreign tourists were killed when their hot air balloon caught fire.

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