Two Spanish tourists killed in air balloon accident in Turkey's Cappadocia

Cappadocia is a popular tourist destination in Turkey renowned for unusual rock formations and rock-caved churches.
Cappadocia is a popular tourist destination in Turkey renowned for unusual rock formations and rock-caved churches.   -  Copyright  Tan Shung Sin/REUTERS
By Euronews Travel  with Reuters

Two Spanish tourists were killed and three injured this morning when the hot air balloon they were travelling in made a hard landing in Turkey's Cappadocia.

The hot air balloon took off from the district of Avanos at sunrise today (18 October), the governor of Nevsehir province confirmed.

"During the landing of the balloon, which was carrying 28 passengers and two crew members, two Spanish nationals lost their lives, while three Spanish citizens were injured," he said in a statement.

"The treatment of those injured is continuing in hospitals in our city and they are not life-threatening," it added.

The statement said the accident was caused by an unexpected increase in wind speed, according to initial assessments.

How safe are hot air balloon rides?

Hot air balloon rides are one of the most popular activities in the Cappadocia region, where they fly over valleys and volcanic "fairy chimney" formations.

Fatalities from theses trips are very rare. According to one recent review of the data from Turkey’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation, there were 12 accidents in flight hours examined between summer 2013 and 2017 in the Cappadocia region.

Three people lost their lives in these accidents, all of which occurred during the landing phase of the flight.