A hot air balloon hit a high-voltage transmission line and crashed Sunday near a popular tourist destination in central Turkey, killing a French tourist and injuring six people, a Turkish official said. Nevsehir governor Ilhami Aktas said 81 hot air balloons lifted off Sunday in Turkey’s Cappadocia region to give tourists a scenic view of the historic site. One balloon with 20 passengers hit the electric line during its descent.
“One French citizen died and six of our citizens were wounded in the event,” he said in a statement, adding that none of those hurt suffered life-threatening injuries. Earlier Sunday, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported that 20 people were injured in the accident. The private Dogan news agency said the wounded were taken to three local hospitals.
Hot air balloon tours were suspended Wednesday due to bad weather and resumed Saturday with the permission of the civil aviation authorities, according to Anadolu. The governor said details of Sunday’s accident would become clear once civil aviation experts complete their investigation.
Cappadocia is a popular tourist destination, known for its volcanic rock-formations, underground cities and churches carved into mountainsides. The region has seen several hot air balloon accidents recently. A Danish tourist was killed in Cappadocia in February when a balloon made a hard landing, and in March, 49 people were injured when three balloons made hard landings amid strong winds.