49 tourists injured after hot air balloons make heavy landing in Turkey’s Cappadocia
Some 49 tourists were injured on March 13 after the hot air balloons they were in made a hard landing due to strong winds in the Cappadocia region of Turkey’s central province of Nevşehir, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
Hot air balloons, mostly carrying foreign tourists, took flight from the Göreme district in the early hours of the morning. However, unexpectedly strong winds forced a number of them to make an emergency landing.
Balloons travelling at high altitude, meanwhile, had to land in a remote part of the Ürgüp district.
According to initial reports, 49 tourists were injured when three hot air balloons hit the ground in a heavy landing.
Those injured were immediately taken to hospitals in the province, while some of them sustained fractures.
“There are 12 injured people in our hospital. Three have fractures while the others are slightly injured due to the heavy landing. None of the injured are in a critical condition. The 12 injured in our hospital are a group of Korean tourists,” said Fatih Yakut, the physician-in-chief of the private Kapadokya Hospital.
The local gendarmerie forces have also launched an investigation into the incident.
The Cappadocia region is visited by around 2.5 million local and foreign tourists every year, with around a fifth of these visitors opting to take balloon flights over the stunning landscape during their trip.
However, bad weather conditions have led to a number of accidents in the region. Last month, a Danish tourist fell out of a hot air balloon while it was making a heavy landing amid strong winds.