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Mon, Oct 12, 2009

Four Dutch Tourists Killed In Chinese Balloon Accident

Two Pilots Jumped, Sustained Minor Injuries

A tourist balloon with seven people on board developed a leak and caught while landing in the town of Yangshuo, a popular Chinese tourist spot Wednesday, resulting in the deaths of four Dutch tourists.

The two pilots on board jumped from the balloon as it went down, which Chinese authorities said reduced their injuries. Two men and two women died in the accident, and a fifth tourist on board was slightly injured.

According to The Times of London online, the balloon developed problems about 450 feet above the ground. It had been in flight for about an hour when the accident occurred.

Hot air balloons have been operating for about 6 years near Yangshuo. The Times reports that three companies are officially licensed to fly tourists, but unlicensed operators may have also been working in the region.



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