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Chinese families visit Egyptian hospitals to identify victims of balloon explosion


09:23, March 01, 2013

CAIRO, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- Several families from China's Hong Kong visited hospitals in Egypt's capital of Cairo on Thursday evening to identify victims of a tragic hot balloon explosion in Luxor.

On Tuesday, a hot balloon carrying 21 people caught fire and exploded in Luxor city, about 670 km south of Cairo, killing 19, including nine tourists from China's Hongkong, and injuring the other two.

The Chinese families, accompanied by Chinese embassy officials, Chinese foreign ministry officials and a delegation from Hong Kong, planned to visit several hospitals to identify the victims, starting with Nasser Institute Hospital which hosted three bodies.

"We have three dead bodies here in the hospital, one of whom was identified in the morning to be a Japanese man, another was now identified by the families to be a Chinese man, while the third body is of a female and has not yet been identified but is believed to be a Chinese woman," Osama Saeed, the hospital's deputy director and head of operation department, told Xinhua.

Saeed added that the hospital is currently performing DNA tests with the third body.

The families left Nasser Institute Hospital around midnight, but were scheduled to visit another three hospitals before returning to their hotel in Cairo.

Earlier Thursday, Song Aiguo, Chinese Ambassador to Egypt, said at a press conference that the embassy had urged the Egyptian government for fast procedures to identify the bodies of the victims.

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