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Page last updated at 17:45 GMT, Sunday, 25 April 2010 18:45 UK

Two people killed as balloon crashes in Emirates desert

Balloons in flight (file photo)
Balloon expeditions have become common in the UAE in recent years

Two people were killed when a hot air balloon with 14 people on board crashed in the United Arab Emirates.

Several other passengers were injured, one seriously, in the crash in a desert area east of the capital, Abu Dhabi.

A French and an Indian national died as the pilot made an emergency landing in rising winds, the tourist company which operated the flight said.

An investigation into the cause of Sunday's crash was under way, the General Civil Aviation Authority said.

The operator, Dubai-based Balloon Adventures Emirates (BAE), said in a statement: "Two passengers, one French national and one Indian national, died in the accident and one ground crew staff member from Tanzania was injured."

Balloon expeditions are popular in the UAE, which has enjoyed a tourism boom.

BAE said it has been operating in the Emirates for five years without any accidents, the AFP news agency reported.



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