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Briton Killed In Balloon Accident

Ballooning Accident On Holiday


A British man has been killed and ten other people injured in a ballooning accident in Turkey.

The hot air balloon came down in the Cappadocia region of Turkey while the pilot and ten holidaymakers were on a sightseeing tour.

The ten injured people are believed to all be British.

"We can confirm we have received reports of a number of British nationals being involved in a ballooning accident," said a spokeswoman from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. "Consular officials are in contact with local authorities and are travelling to the area to provide consular assistance."

Cappadocia is known for its "fairy chimneys", or volcanic cones.

The accident happened after the balloon took off at 6.30am local time, Turkey's Hurriyet newspaper reported on its website.

The tourists were only 50m off the ground when the balloon suddenly came down for an unexplained reason, it said.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Xanthe Andrews, an Associate Solicitor in Irwin Mitchell's International Travel Litigation Group in London, said: "Unfortunately this is not an isolated incident. We have acted for a number of holidaymakers injured in this way including an accident in Turkey, a few years ago and another balloon crash in Luxor, Egypt in April 2009, in which several people sustained injuries.

"Turkey is an extremely popular tourist destination and holidaymakers are entitled to expect that, if they take an excursion of this type, proper safety checks and procedures will have been carried out and that the equipment is in good order. We do not know yet what caused this accident, but clearly we have serious concerns that some companies, who run balloon trips, in popular tourist destinations, do not seem to be taking sufficient steps to ensure the safety of passengers.

"It is important that an independent, public investigation into this incident takes place as soon as possible and that if the investigation reveals any shortcomings in the equipment or procedure used, lessons are learnt and changes are implemented as soon as possible.

"Any holidaymakers who sustained injuries in this incident are advised to seek specialist legal advice as soon as possible. There are time limits for pursuing claims and in Turkey this can be as little as one year."

"We are already advising victims of the crash who suffered injuries and are receiving hospital treatment".

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