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.