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Hot air balloons collide in Turkey; 3 dead

From Gul Tuysuz, CNN
updated 1:50 PM EDT, Mon May 20, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: The three killed were from Brazil
  • Nearly two dozen people were hurt
  • The incident occurred in the tourist region of Cappadocia
  • Three months ago, a balloon accident in Egypt killed 19 people

Read a version of this story in Arabic.

Istanbul (CNN) -- Three Brazilian tourists were killed when two hot air balloons collided in Turkey on Monday, the semiofficial Anadolu news agency reported, citing local officials.

The accident, which also injured 22 people, occurred in Turkey's popular tourist destination of Cappadocia, the central Turkish region famous for its chimney rocks, cave houses, underground cities and balloon trips.

Abdurrahman Savas, governor of the central province of Nevsehir, said the balloon's envelope ripped open after colliding with the basket of another balloon. Ahmet Tetikci, a spokesman for the town of Ortahisar, told CNN one balloon struck the other balloon from the top, and the second balloon went down.

NFL player burned in balloon crash

Tourists, from Brazil, Argentina and Spain, were taken to hospitals in Nevsehir and the neighboring Kayseri province. The governor visited injured tourists at the private Cappadocia Hospital.

How safe is hot air ballooning?

The crash is the latest in a string of hot air balloon accidents this year.

In March, pro football player Donte Stallworth was among two people injured when their balloon crashed into power lines in Miami. In February, a gas explosion caused a balloon to plummet from the sky in Egypt, killing 19 people in the deadliest balloon crash in decades.

CNN's Ivan Watson contributed to this report.

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