7 of the Worst Hot Air Balloons Accidents in Recent Memory

Monday's balloon accident in Egypt, the deadliest on record, is one of many tragic incidents.

In this image made available by Christopher Michel, the launch site near Luxor in Egypt, shortly prior to a hot air balloon explosion which killed at least 18 tourists including a number of tourists Tuesday Feb. 26, 2013. Witnesses described hearing a loud explosion before seeing plumes of smoke as the balloon caught fire and plunged into a sugar cane field west of Luxor, which is 320 miles (510km) south of the capital Cairo. The casualties are believed to include British and French tourists, as well as other nationalities, a security official in the country said.

The launch site near Luxor in Egypt, shortly prior to a hot air balloon explosion which killed a number of tourists Tuesday.

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A hot air balloon flying tourists over Egyptian ruins caught fire and crashed, killing 18 of its passengers, according to the Associated Press.

The balloon crashed the town of Luxor, the site of the Valley of the Kings, King Tut's tomb, and other pharaonic monuments frequented by tourists. The 18 deaths associated with the incident makes it the deadliest hot air balloon accident on record, according to CNN.

[RELATED: Balloon Crash in Egypt Kills 18 Foreigners]

As peaceful as they seem, hot air balloon rides can be very dangerous. The National Transportation Safety Board, the U.S. agency that investigates accidents for the Federal Aviation Administration, has looked into nearly 800 hot air balloon accidents since 1964, according to its records. The NTSB, which documents mostly U.S. incidents, show that 67 of those have been fatal. Most, but not all, of the accidents the investigated were caused by bad weather.

Here's a look at seven of the worst hot air balloon accidents in recent memory.

Luxor, Egypt, February 2013 - 19 dead
The balloon was touring Egyptian sites at dawn when a fire triggered a loud explosion in its gas canister, causing it to fall more than 1,000 feet to the ground. The pilot survived by jumping from the basket, but most of the party died in the fall or due to burns, according to Reuters.

Australian outback, August 1989 - 13 dead
Two hot air balloons collided above the Australian outback, causing one to plunge to the earth, according to the New York Times. Several passengers attempted to jump early, but most stayed in the basket. All 13 of the balloon's occupants died.

[PHOTOS: Hot Air Balloon Crash Kills 18 Tourists]

Carterton, New Zealand, January 2012 - 11 dead
A balloon with a pilot and five couples clipped power lines while attempting to land in rural New Zealand. The balloon ignited as soon as it hit the lines, killing everyone aboard, according to The Independent.

Woody Creek, Colorado, August 1993 - 6 dead
A wind gust blew a balloon flying near Aspen, Colorado into a power line complex and severed the basket from the balloon in 1993, NTSB records show. The basket fell more than 100 feet to the ground, killing its six occupants. Another balloon crashed just minutes later due to the same windy conditions.

Barrington, IL, August 1981 - 5 dead
A group of six were flying nearing Barrington Hills, Illinois when a storm pushed their balloon into a high-tension power line, according to NTSB records. Seeing the storm approaching, the pilot attempted to dip below it. A gust of wind forced him to turn on the balloon's burners to abort the landing. Before hitting the power line and utility pole, one occupant jumped from the basket and survived with critical injuries. The other five died in the accident.

[READ: Journalism Schools Experiment With Drones]

Columbus, Ohio, December 1990 - 4 dead
A balloon flying near Columbus, Ohio was punctured by a television tower and fell to 1,000 feet to the ground, according to NTSB records. All four of the balloon's occupants died in the crash, which was witnessed by thousands of rush hour commuters on a nearby road, according to the New York Times.

Bereza, Belarus, September 1995 - 2 dead
A hydrogen-filled balloon flying near the Polish border was shot down by a Republic of Belarus Air Force attack helicopter. The chopper's machine guns punctured the balloon, causing it to burn partially crash into the ground, killing two, according to NTSB records.

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