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Egyptian pilots defend hot air balloon safety

Flowers and incense are laid at the site of the hot air balloon crash in Luxor, Egypt Credit: PA

Colleagues of a hot air balloonist who was piloting a balloon which crashed near the Egyptian city of Luxor killing 19 tourists, have defended his safety record.

Speaking at a press conference in Luxor, the pilots said that Momin Murad has been flying balloons for eight years without incident. Mr Murad is currently in hospital receiving treatment for severe burns caused during the accident on Tuesday.

The pilots also defended Egypt's safety measures for balloon flight, saying that the company which organised the fatal trip had cancelled flights the day before the accident due to bad weather.

'She was my world': Egypt balloon survivor's tribute to wife

Michael Rennie, who was involved in the tragic hot air balloon incident in Egypt in which his wife, Yvonne died has issued the following statement through the Foreign Office:

I would like to thank the staff at both hospitals in Cairo and Luxor, the British Embassy - especially Hala Hamam and John Hamilton - and Kathryn Brace from Thomas Cook for helping me through these last few days. Yvonne was my rock, my friend, my shoulder to cry on. She was my world. My heartfelt condolences go out to the other families that have lost relatives around the world in this terrible disaster.

I would be grateful to the media for respecting my privacy and that of my family at this difficult time.

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Luxor crash victims were ‘creative and sensitive’

Zsi Gyetvai and Joe Bampton were amongst the 19 people tragically killed. Credit: Foreign and Commonwealth Office/PA

The mother of Joe Bampton, who died in the Luxor hot air balloon crash with his girlfriend Zsi Gyetvai, has described the pair as “wonderfully creative and sensitive individuals”.

In a statement issued by the Foreign Office, Maureen Bampton said: “I would like to thank everyone for their messages of condolence, cards and flowers following the tragic deaths of my son Joe Bampton and his girlfriend Zsi Gyetvai in Egypt on Tuesday.

“My son and Zsi were wonderfully creative and sensitive individuals who lived life to the full and enjoyed being in Clapham Common with their dog Ollie.

“Joe and Zsi will be sadly missed by their families, and work colleagues and their many, many good friends.”

Smoke streamed from hot air balloon mid-flight

The horrific balloon crash in Egypt left 19 people dead.

Smoke was seen streaming out of a hot air balloon moments before it plunged to the ground, killing 19 passengers.

The amateur footage was captured by a passenger on another balloon near the ancient Egyptian town of Luxor.

ITV News cannot independently verify the content or location of the photograph.

Victim of balloon crash will be 'sadly missed'

Colleagues of Yvonne Rennie, who died in the Luxor hot air balloon crash yesterday, have paid tribute to their "very dear friend" who will be "sadly missed."

Yvonne's untimely death has left all the staff at Perth Royal Infirmary and throughout NHS Tayside deeply saddened at the loss of a very dear colleague and friend. Yvonne will be greatly missed by all.

She was a highly valued member of the radiology department team, providing excellent service in helping to deliver patient care.

– Tejinder Chima, NHS Tayside clinical services manager of the diagnostics group

We are in shock at the sudden and tragic loss of Yvonne. She was a much-loved colleague who enjoyed her job and her tragic passing has had a huge impact on all of us who knew and worked with her. She will be sadly missed.

– Douglas Mitchell, Radiology manager

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Injured balloon survivor ran to homes shouting for help

Locals tell me balloon crash survivor Michael Rennie ran to these homes shouting for help. He had burns to side of face.

The homes balloon crash survivor Michael Rennie is understood to have ran to following the incident. Credit: Richard Gaisford

Witnesses say Mr Rennie had run 200m along a track from where the balloon first touched down to reach the homes.

The track Mr Rennie is believed to have run along looking for help following the balloon crash. Credit: Richard Gaisford

He would have seen the balloon rise up above him, with the basket and canopy ablaze - his wife Yvonne still in it. He shouted "my wife".

Neighbours shock at deaths of 'lovely couple' in Luxor

A neighbour of the couple who died in the Egypt hot air balloon crash yesterday expressed her shock over their deaths.

Hungarian-born Suzanna Gyetvai. Credit: Facebook

Allison Robertson, 56, who lived next door, said: "They were a lovely couple - very quiet, unassuming people. It's such a waste of life. They were young and it's very sad."

Joe Bampton and his partner Suzanna Gyetvai worked as antiques dealers and had lived at their home in Clapham for two to three years, Ms Robertson added.

Joe Bampton turned 40 a few weeks ago. Credit: Facebook

Neighbour Bernard Gentry, 53, said: "They were a pleasant couple. I used to speak to them in the garden with their dog. I'm shocked they could die in such tragic circumstances on holiday."

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