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Egypt tour co.'s angry over suspension

March 2, 2013 at 4:25 PM

CAIRO, March 2 (UPI) -- Workers in Egypt's tourism industry are threatening protests if a government suspension of hot air balloon rides isn't lifted following a deadly crash.

The balloon business in Luxor is a primary tourist attraction and tour companies running the rides employ hundreds of workers who have been laid off since a crash Tuesday that killed 18 tourists and an Egyptian woman when their balloon burst into flames and plummeted 1,000 feet to the ground.

Luxor Gov. Ezzat Saad promised the balloon rides would resume within a month, once the investigation into Tuesday's incident is complete.

He told Middle East News Agency Saturday the company operating the balloon has insurance and is prepared to compensate victims' families. Saad said tour companies operating balloon rides must have two forms of insurance, for the balloon and for the occupants. They also face periodic government safety checks, he said.

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