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Hot Air Balloon Crash: Egypt To Widen Investigation Into Deadly Accident

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An Egyptian inspector of the Civil Aviation Authority investigates the site of the balloon accident, in Luxor, Egypt, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser) | AP

CAIRO — Egypt's lead investigator says countries of some of the victims of the deadly balloon crash in Luxor have asked to join the probe.

Walid el-Moqadem said Thursday that Hong Kong, Britain, Japan and Hungary will not be sending investigators so far. He says they have been granted an advisory role and will for now be appraised of progress through emails.

Nineteen foreign tourists died when their hot air balloon caught fire and plummeted about 1,000 feet to the ground on Tuesday in southern Egypt.

Initial reports say the balloon was in the process of landing when a cable got caught around a gas tube and a fire erupted.

He says Egyptian investigators are currently collecting and documenting data. A separate criminal investigation is under way to rule out foul play.

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