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    Air Balloon Accident Kills One, Injures 20 People in Central Turkey

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    A hot air balloon slammed into the ground in the picturesque Cappadocia region of central Turkey, killing a French tourist and injuring others, including Turks and visitors from Colombia and France.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily, the accident took place near the city of Nevsehir in the Cappadocia region. All of the victims were hospitalized.

    The reasons behind the accident are unknown yet.

    "This morning, a French tourist died due to a hard landing of the hot air balloon prompted by strong wind. Two French nationals, two Colombian citizens and 16 Turkish citizens were injured. There were no Russian nationals among the victims," a representative of the local police told Sputnik on Sunday.

    He added that there was no risk to the lives of those injured.

    The Cappadocia region is famous for its unique geological formations, which offer tourists from around the world spectacular landscapes. Many hop aboard hot air balloons capable of carrying 20 or more people, with many flights starting just before sunrise, as local guides promote this as being the best time of the day for taking photos. The area is also home to dozens of 'cave hotels' carved into solid rock, and two vast abandoned underground cities, which once housed tens of thousands of people.

    Some 2.5 million vacationers visited the region in 2013, hailing from as far away as Japan. However, the tourism sector took a staggering blow due to recent terrorist attacks, last year's coup, and the political freeze that followed the Turkish downing of a Russian bomber over Syria in November, 2015. According to the Daily Sabah, a pro-government Turkish newspaper, the number of visitors to the region in 2016 was just under 1.5 million. 


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